I haven’t published anything here in a long time. A reader of this blog sent me an email recently, encouraging me to write. Because of his interest, I wrote a long email back to him explaining why I’ve stopped writing and saying a few other things besides. It occurs to me that other readers may also like to see the email that I sent to him, so here it is. I added a few sentences just now when I pasted it here.
Sorry for taking so long to reply. I’m fine. I’m living in a tiny house in New Mexico with my girlfriend and two cats. We’ve been pretty isolated since March because of covid-19. I tried to grow tomatoes this summer but planted them too late so looks like frost will kill them before we get any fruit.
How are you?
Thanks for telling me you find my writing interesting and would like to read more. I frequently think of things to write. Yesterday, for example, I remembered that years ago I read the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible very carefully and noticed to my surprise that it’s a humorous story, light hearted, not “religious” — it’s a facetious account of how human life came to be the way it is. The final event, where God drives Adam and Eve from the garden, isn’t described as a punishment. The text says God did it to protect himself so Adam and Eve wouldn’t become gods. For goodness sake, it’s supposed to be funny. It’s a farce. I think modern readers don’t recognize that it’s a farce because they assume that the ancient people who wrote the story were morons. They weren’t morons. They were as intelligent as we.
I recognize that one of the qualities that make these old stories so weird is that they are affectless. Flat, toneless, without any indication of what the author thinks about the events in the story or what the author wants us to think about them. Like Freudian psychoanalysts, who conceal their personalities from their patients so the patients will project their fantasies onto them, these stories make us see in them the tone and intentions that we choose to see. I acknowledge this and admit that I may be projecting. Even so, I think the author thought the story was humorous.
Like many of the old stories in Genesis, I suspect it was written as a children’s story, but the kind of children’s story that includes remarks designed to go over the children’s heads and amuse the adults in the room. Centuries later, the somber, humorless, school-marmish priests who compiled the Hebrew Bible incorporated this story in their collection and that’s how it became a religious story. A serious story. But I don’t think it was intended that way by the woman who wrote it. I think the literary critic Harold Bloom was correct that those stories were probably written by a woman.
It occurred to me yesterday that maybe I should write about this on my blog. But what would be the point? It wouldn’t help anybody.
Yesterday one of our cats, who is still young, killed and ate a bird for the first time. Didn’t just kill the bird but played with it delightedly while she killed it. My girlfriend was very upset because she loves the cat and was distressed to see that it caused such suffering.
But my reaction was different. I thought, “God is love, and God made this cat. The cat delights in torturing birds to death. The bird died a horrible death and got eaten. God, who is love, arranged all this. This makes no sense at all. It is incomprehensible. Theologians have made theories to reconcile all this but in reality it is beyond human reason. God is more profound and deeper than anybody can understand.”
This was so beautiful to me that my eyes got wet. It made me feel the reality of God intensely. Because a cat tortured a bird to death.
I should add that I don’t think the bird suffered, for reasons I don’t want to go into now. I think God protected the bird from suffering.
I thought of writing about this but again, what’s the point? It would only be more ideas clogging up the reader’s head. It wouldn’t help anyone.
Years ago when I began to want consciously to become Self-realized — the desire and process had begun years earlier but I hadn’t known — I wished and vowed deeply that if I ever became Self-realized, I would observe very carefully how it came about and afterward, I would write instructions for other people. Because I couldn’t find any clear instructions.
But here I am, more than two decades later, and I’m still not Self-realized. Many interesting things have happened to me. I’ve had various profound experiences. I’ve acquired siddhis. I’ve written about some of these things on this blog. But what would be the point of writing about them? They aren’t Self-realization.
I see people like me on Buddha at the Gas Pump and satsang websites, pontificating about enlightenment and awakening. Like me they’ve had some interesting experiences. Like me, they have become different from most people in valuable ways. But like me, they aren’t Self-realized and to my way of thinking, some of them are making fools of themselves. Many of them don’t realize that they aren’t Self-realized. One of the tremendous gifts I got from Ramana, or more accurately the books about Ramana, is that they made me sufficiently aware of what Self-realization is that I know it hasn’t happened to me.
If I get Self-realized, I expect that I’ll write again. If not — I don’t know. Will it happen? Maybe I’m like my tomatoes that got planted too late. Time is running out.
Thank you very much for writing and telling me what you said.
I hope you’re well.
7 thoughts to “I tried to grow tomatoes this summer”
Do you think this is why John Wheeler has stopped speaking?
Sorry, I don’t know enough about John Wheeler to have an opinion.
I’m surprised you consider yourself to not be “Self realised”
Ever since I read your blog post “How to stop thoughts” I have been doing that “on and off”
See I think you really did find a way to self realisation
I think all the great masters throughout history have said that we are already “that” which we
are seeking (Including John Wheeler who is one of several people who are “Awake” thanks to
Sailor Bob Adamson)
Conrad, yes I miss John Wheeler’s communications as well
He really is gifted in explaining what all the greats have said (Abide as awareness)
Anyway I think “How to stop thoughts” is exactly that way to Abide as awareness
Your method really is an excellent way to “See” our true nature
Abiding as “That” as much as possible is the “Way” to Liberation
David Hawkins calibrated Huang Po at 960 out of 1000
I think your method is a really great way of doing what Huang Po is teaching here:
Basically stop thinking or conceptualising and at some point the apparent person with all it’s baggage falls away as per Tony Parsons and the whole group of amazing non duality teachers who had that happen from his talks
Then it’s realised that the person never existed in the first place
Exactly what the Bhudda taught as well (Calibrates 1000)
I only found this a couple of days ago after I saw how high he calibrated
Almost finished reading it and it’s maybe the most brilliant thing I have ever read
Extremely clear about what is necessary
It’s as simple as you wrote :-)))
All the intellectualising we do is the problem
It is good to know you left NY.
I feel, It is going to be very dangerous the next few months in big cities in US.
After talking with Padme for a year and half, I had all the intellectual understanding sbout SR, but what I needed now is practice. According to Michael Langford, it happens only in One in a 100 million. Anybody who did, did a lot of practice. So I acutually started to practice: I cannot leave Japan due to the scamdemic so I started doing Zen, 10 hours everyday for 5 days each month. I found a Zen master who created another SRed monk only half an hour from where I live in Kyoto. I went all over the world looking for SRed master (including 20 times to India) .
But, 2 of them actually live near me…amazing!! I wanted some guru to wake me up, but no more hope for that. Now it is time to practice. Neither of the masters are famous. They see no merits showing up in public. Just like Padme said, the 2 of the Roshis(Zen master can teach only after getting permission to teach from another master ) went through ego death and they look so normal you never know they are SRed by looking at them.
I am writing as It is great to know you are around in a countryside. I wanted to congratulate you for leaving NY.
All the best!
Have you changed your name or was it always Mami? I always thought of you as Pema Devi. Congratulations on finding your guru and committing yourself to practice. I’ve been thinking the same thing lately, that I need to practice more. Maybe your comments will influence me and motivate me.
10 hours a day! That’s huge. I wish I had your will power or whatever you have that lets you do that.
I’m not surprised you found two SR’d people in Kyoto. Isn’t Kyoto world famous for its Zen temples and gardens? Isn’t Zen one of the greatest nondual traditions? Probably lots of Europeans travel to Kyoto to find a guru. Maybe everyone feels they have to travel far from home to find something special, so you had to go to India. 🙂 This is almost a metaphor — we find SR when we stop going away from ourselves and stay home. 🙂
My girlfriend and I live in a small peaceful city (Santa Fe, New Mexico) so I think even if things get worse in the US — and I think maybe you’re right, maybe they will — we’ll be okay. Our biggest concern at the moment is that both our cats have suddenly begun to kill lots of birds. They never did this before.
Thank you for the congratulations, same to you, and I wish you success in your practice!
Hi Ron, I’m delighted to hear your comments about “How to Stop Thoughts.” Thank you. Very glad to hear you’ve been using that method and you’ve found it helpful.
The reason I say I’m not Self-realized is because it’s still possible for me to slip back into the ordinary state of mind and forget to abide in awareness. After Self-realization, that’s no longer possible.
When you say Buddha calibrates 1000, are you talking about Ramaji’s book?
Thanks again for writing. Kind regards to you too, my friend.
I absolutely love your “How to Stop Thoughts” method
Most useful method out there
A practical way of “Abiding as awareness” as advised by many of the great masters such as Ramana and Nisargadatta
The understanding you give about a sliding scale from awake and aware to lost in thoughts really helps in understanding what is going on and what needs to be done
“The reason I say I’m not Self-realized is because it’s still possible for me to slip back into the ordinary state of mind and forget to abide in awareness. After Self-realization, that’s no longer possible.”
It seems like that will be the case
I find it fascinating that Tony Parsons, Richard Sylvester, Kenneth Madden, Andreas Müller, Tim Cliss, Robin Kirkhus, Jim Newman and many others are saying the exact same thing.
That it’s possible for the sense of being a separate person can fall away and then that is “IT”.
They describe the experience after that happens in exactly the same way which looks authentic to me
What were are calling enlightenment here.
Could that be what you are calling Substate 2 “Falling away” or merging with 3 as you describe?
Unfortunately they are all saying their is nothing we can do to have that happen
I’m hoping they are wrong about that and Sages Ramana and Nisargadatta are right in that it can happen by abiding as Self
When you say Buddha calibrates 1000, are you talking about Ramaji’s book?
Oh sorry I should have clarified that
It’s referring to Dr David Hawkins method of Calibrating anything by Muscle Testing
He Calibrated everything on a Logarithmic Scale from zero to 1000
Here is a pretty comprehensive list:
David had the “Self fall away thing” happen as well
One of my very favourite teachers who ever lived