by: Roger Weir
Great Spiritual Classics of the Orient 2500 B.C. to 300 A.D.
Presentation 3 of 13
Early Teachings of Mountain Sages in Northern India.
Especially Isha, Kena, and Brihadaranyaka (Great-Breath-Forest-Sermon)
Presented by Roger Weir
Thursday, July 16, 1981
The day of July 16th, 1981. This is the third lecture in a series of lectures by Roger Weir on the great spiritual classics of the Orient from 2,500 BC to 300 A.D. Tonight's lecture is entitled The Upanishads, the early teachings of the mountain stages in Northern India, especially the Isha, the Kena, the Katha and the Brihadaranyaka, or the great breathing breath forest sermon.
This is the third presentation in this particular series. And there is a kind of an order, not of my design but because it actually happened in terms of historical development in time. And South and East Asia intermingled themselves a little bit later on from the period that we come to in this series. Next year, we'll get to that intermingling and find the universal tradition there. And in between, we'll be taking a look at the classics, spiritual classics of ancient Greece.
So, we've got a long comfortable amble through the great mountains of human endeavor. And it's appropriate to speak of mountains and mountain imagery because The Upanishads actually are those teachings that are given in person. And it amounts to a, an actual vision, which he or she, who may teach has had in actuality. And therefore, turns in their turn and gives it to us. And so, this is kind of studying, the mouth to mouth. Or you might think of it as lighting a candle from another candle, which has been lit from another one all the way back to some primordial spark of insight which lit the first candle. So that one's own personal flame that we carry and shepherd and shelter and use as our guiding star, has a continuity in its brilliance all the way back to some beginning in actual time space for someone. And there's an unbroken tradition leading all the way back to the beginning.
The Upanishads are of this nature. They're about 112 different Upanishads. The last one being written in Rajput India about the time of John Donner, Sir Isaac Newton. And I suppose there could be a Upanishad done today. I rather think of some of the writings of Gandhi as being very, very close to some of The Upanishads. The Bhagavad Gita itself could be construed as a Upanishad of The Upanishads. And when we get to the Gita later on, it will be of interest to you in that regard.
The Upanishads will take up what we talked about in The Rigveda being as you recall a ritual **inaudible word or two**, which had its mythic cycle expressively parallel in the first development. And that there was a sense of ritual presence, which then was able to exude out from that. After a while in classical India there was, there was a way at which an individual would live one's life. And at a certain time when one had to fulfilled all of the physical requirements for human life, one had been educated, had been married and been a householder. Had been a money earner. Had raised a family and created the household and had the grand generation on its way. And this tone of life would be fulfilled. There would be one last stage, sort of a fourth stage in human development. And that would be to prepare oneself for the **inaudible word**, for point back to the **inaudible word**. Quite often, physiologically, it would take the place of a journey, a natural journey. And early on when India still was covered, in the Northern part especially, by large, forests of traps there would be these hermitages in the forest, in a grove. The divine has always been perceived and worshiped in groves around the world. And there among the trees or under a particular tree, from the word of mouth of a hermit, one would receive that essential core teaching, which would enable one to let go with dignity and grace of the charms and the **inaudible word** of this life. And to turn and exit with some style and dignity.
I remember Joseph Campbell once saying one of the uses of the mythology is to get us to, to leave gracefully. And not to hem and ha and say, no, I really don't want to go. I want to stay. I want more. More life. At the least it’s ungracious. When the time comes one should accept this.
There’s a beautiful story in Tolstoy incidentally that War and Peace is on, The Death of Ivan Ilyich. An old judge who becomes ill and is confined to his room. And he realizes after a while that he's confined to his bed. And then he realizes that he cannot even turn over in his bed by himself anymore. He’s confined to his own body. And this terrifies him. That this world, which he has dominated, and controlled power has shrunk to the confines of his own body. And he imagined death to be this black hole, which unsufferable circumstances forcing him to.
And in The Death of Ivan Ilyich the tears of a small grandchild who comes, who bridges this for Ilyich. This kind of a bridging, this kind of a realization is an actual vision, which one has with the mind's eye, if you like. And through this vision one understands that the passages throughout life and death form a large understandable patterning. And that it is just in the best of all possible terms. The Upanishads are one of the earliest attempts to not only convey this essential vision from one to another, but to surround it with sort of a cocoon of the beginnings of what we call today, philosophy. Of reasons why. Of perceptions of giving stages and developments of exfoliating the pattern. Giving names to various parts and aspects. So that one would have at least this kind of a initial comforting, mentally, that it is all understood. And understood to the pointed being mapped and named. And therefore, one should engender oneself and turn. Let’s put the Sanskrit first, Serrata. But not faith like blind belief or anything like that. But it means a deep spiritual confidence that Serrata teachings are. They're legitimate. They may be passed on and one’s self maybe opened up to accept them and have them, Serrata Deep, deep spiritual thing that the teachings are, the teacher is, you as the pupil are in fact in a position to accept this and understand it now and go with it. Serrata So, this is kind of a quality sought to be engendered and in The Upanishads.
Now, several of the real fine Upanishads, we'll see some of them tonight, have wonderful wisdom stories embedded in them. And when one first runs across them, like all wisdom stories, they seem very colloquial and homey. The really refined spiritual teachings always have that homey familiar feel. And at first, we think, well, that's no big thing. I know that. And that's how it should be. We should immediately recognize it as familiar and homey. And we fit in there. And it's only later on as we come back again and again, in retrospection or in a maturing and our life movement that we realize that we constantly are passing through that familiar expression. And again, and again, we'd begin to see that jewel like it sums up all of our existence. Serrata. Steven's had a line, “the impossible possible philosophers’ man, who in a million diamonds sums us up. We heard him chanting in the Jasmine haunted forest and knew the glassman without external reference.” That kind of thing.
In The Kena Upanishad there is a point where the Gods who have overcome the demons are having a great field day of rejoicing. And in their pride of power because they are Gods, and they are divine manipulators of power. They see a celestial happening in the sky. And Agni, the God of fire in his wealth of power and dignity goes to find the source of this beautiful, fantastic happening in the sky. Think of, of a satellite contrail from Vandenberg going straight up into the sunset and getting all squiggly up there. You remember about a month ago we had one of those. Well in The Kena Upanishad Agni goes there and he finds the Supreme Brahmin. And the Supreme Brahman observes Agni in he has wealth of power coming upon him. And a single blade of grass is laid down before Agni. And Brahman says, can you wither this grass. And Agni who has all capacity, but whose Serrata has been taken away by Brahman momentarily can do nothing. Even a single blade of grass.
And so, he comes back to the conclove of the Gods. And the God like powers beginning to talk and buzz about this. And another God goes off. And again, the blade of grass is unmoved. That that was Vayu, the God of wind who went the second time and is unable to even move it one iota. And finally, Indra, the King of the Gods takes himself and reminds himself on the way of his Serrata. And he comes in like the King of Gods and everything vanishes before him. There's no blade of grass. There's no celestial object. There is no Brahman. But even though everything has become invisible and gone and absent, Indra, keeping his Serrata alert inside continues. And it's only then that Brahman re-manifests himself and gives a sort of a benediction to Indra that he is indeed the proper kind of quester. We are not to overpower enlightenment and realization. It's not a question of power. It never is. Or a facility or a technique or technicality. Nor cleverness or any of those kinds of wonderful bags of tricks. They simply are inappropriate. They have no place. And it is not simply because the master magician can change the rules of the game. It's simply that they have no effectual basis whatsoever.
I once saw a beautiful Japanese woodcut painting done about 1940 of the Sanskrit word illusion written in Sanskrit. And it was lifted above the horizons so that no word touched the horizon. And that's what it is. Illusion has no basis. It has no point of contact. And that is why it is illusion. So just so like that.
There are other stories in The Upanishads. I like beginning with The Kena Upanishads **inaudible word or two**. And I always loved the fact that in the, in the script. In the **inaudible word** script the word om is pretty much like a thirty. Kind of instantly like a thirty. And in journalism thirty at the end of the story. When you finish the story, you put thirty down. That's it. And it’s always seemed to me remarkable that in this world of incredible insights and everything that American journalism should have a sign for the ending very similar to the beginning of the old Sanskrit ohm.
And then there's the phrase, us both together. As if to reiterate us both together. It's like a triangle. It's like a triple bond. That somehow when we do things in thirds and triads and triplets, and form and triplet it’s for real. So, the indication is to draw us together, that kind of a companionability, which is quintessential. We have to be friends and we have to really be friends. Us both together. And just that way of compactness. And from that may he protect us. And words may and protect are there. And for all of us is that presence unnamed and unspecified in an objective way, but presence may he protect us. Protect us both together. Not simply us but reiterating again the same phrasing as the masterful being, giving us the teaching of The Kena Upanishad is giving us the words to bind us together in triplicate and then saying may protect and then us both together again. And then another may and why he caused us to enjoy. Because there are said, in one of The Upanishads, two paths, one of the pleasure and one of wisdom or joy. And we are to embark on the path of joy, of the realization and of the light. which is quite separate from simply then being brilliant. Being brilliant. The real kind of assimilation is happening, is to happen, can be there. Being brilliant. And he calls us to enjoy them.
Then may we both exert together. We both together. May and the word exert. That is once we are brought triple round together and protected and blessed into **inaudible word** then to give our concentration and our inner sense, may our studies be thorough, faithful **inaudible word** to survive. May we never misunderstand each other. In other words, be together, learning together. The teacher with the pupils, the doctrine, The Upanishads, all of that together. May we all understand each other. That is that the interfacing between our understandings continues to act as a crystal structure, allowing the light to come in and permeate the entire structure. The phrase in there is the light without smoke. There is a light without smoke. And we are to entertain that. And we together construct in our being together in a very pristine, open, hearted way, a vehicle which can receive that light without smoke. And refract is meaning into a prism of understanding, which we can use in our days of life. That’s how it begins.
And after the invocation, there is this kind of, of a statement,
Ohm, may we grow vigorous? My limbs, my speech, my vital air. My eye, my ear. And strength and senses. And awl and Brahman. May we grow in strength together. And may I never deny the Brahman. May the Brahman never spurn me. May there be no denial of the Brahman. May there be no spurning by the Brahman.
Again, and again, almost as if one is sewing a fabric of understanding back and forth, back and forth. And then, “Let all the virtues recited by The Upanishads repose in me. Delighting in the Atman.” And they in me repose. Atman **inaudible word** in the inner self. And the Brahman, which had their interface sort of a side wave of continuity and realization.
So that, “May the Brahman never spurn me. May there be no denial of the Brahman on my part. May there be no spurning by the Brahman. Let all the virtuous recited in The Upanishads repose in me, delighting in the awesome. Delighting. May they repose in me. Ohm.” And then the final closing usually in a phrasing in The Upanishads would be Shante, the word for peace. Repeated three times. Ohm shante, shante, shante. Ohm peace, peace, peace.
And then The Upanishad begins with a question. This is The Kena Upanishad.
By whom wheeled and directed as the mind light upon its objects? Commanded by whom does the main vital air proceed to function? By whose will do men utter speech? What intelligence directs the eyes and the ears toward their objects? Who is this? What is doing this? Who makes this happen? This is the question.
And out of the question, and I'll skip over to this translation of it because it's a little bit easier to refer to. This is the translation by Juan Mascaro from the Penguin Classics. I like the commentary by Chinmayananda but it's awfully difficult to find around. This is how Mascaro translates that first question. “Who sends the mind to wander afar? Who first drives life to start its journey? Who compels us to utter these words? Who is the spirit behind the eye and the ear?” Now the questions follow into this kind of an interlocking order. Because at first the question is about the mind. And then the realization is that the mind exists in a life pattern. Well, what about that life? And then as one becomes conscious in this kind of a stepping back, one becomes conscious that one is even asking this question. Well, why that even? And then finally, well, whose spirit is behind the eye and the ear? The hearing of the words? The seeing of the problematic.
And so, The Kena Upanishad after its invocation begins with this primordial question patterning. And again, and again in The Upanishads we find this kind of zeroing in, making some kind of geometric targeting out of something. Or exfoliating so that we can see that it forms some kind of design. This kind of geometric architectonic of the questions and answers is a characteristic movement in the philosophy of The Upanishads.
The Kena goes on to read, “It is the ear of the ear. It is the eye of the eye. And the word of words. The mind of mind. And the life of life.” So, we are given again, something tucked inside another, and it is the essential flame of that function, which is said to be discernible and linkable to each other. So that if we have the eye of the eye and the ear of the ear and the mind of the mind and the word of the word and the life of the life, well, is there not someone that links all that together, and is the spirit of them, all of the eye of the eye et cetera. So that idea of coming in like the pedaling of a flower to the center. Is there not some fragrance of understanding possible at the center? And should it not be in some kind of envisionable form. Not vision, but envisionable form. So that we can understand and literally make a picture, make an image of it. Something like that.
Those who follow wisdom passed beyond and on leaving this world become immortal. There the eye goes not. Nor words nor mind. We know not. We cannot understand how he can be explained. He is above the known and he is above the unknown. Thus, have we heard from the ancient sages who explained this truth to us.
And that reoccurring phrase, thus we have heard is like the testimony coming back again to something that I have had this experience myself from someone who had it themselves. And they got it from someone in turn who had themselves. So that we have confirmed it in person, all of this while down to you, and that you too may go and confirm this for yourself. So that you could tell someone else, thus I have heard and mean it because your Serrata has been kept alive and alert. And your k…confirming power being intact you have not only heard it you know what to do so yourself. And then it is passed on. You can pass it on.
So, The Kena goes on like this. And then of course comes the, the second part of The Kena Upanishad. The master says,
If you think I know, or I know or **inaudible word** well, that is little truth that you know. If you think yourself, I know, I understand. That's a very little truth. No matter what it seems like. No matter how complicated. If your mind confirms yourself, I know that. Watch out. You only perceive that appearance. It is but an appearance of Brahman that lies in the senses and is in you.
And then the admonition, “Gently pursue your meditation. Pursue your meditation.” Later on, next year, we'll see that when the, the, great passing on from Milarepa to Gampopa. Gampopa came rushing back to Milarepa morning after morning waking the master up, saying I've had the ultimate vision. This is it. And then the next day again, oh this one for sure master. And kept waking him up and waking him up. And Milarepa kept saying, go back, go back, no, go back. Until finally one day, no more visions. And then Milarepa sent for him and said that’s it. Time to leave. And Gampopa thought he had failed. And then years later he realized that that was it after all, no image, no appearance. That one could confirm pridefully, Oh yeah, I know. That's always suspect. Then the disciple replies,
Because the disciple is human like we are, I am mean to know. I want to know. You are the master, I am here. Tell me. I do not imagine I know him well. And yet I cannot say I know him not. Who of us knows this, knows him. And not who says I know him not. He comes to the thought of those who know him beyond thought. Not to those who imagined he can be attained by thought. He is unknown to the learned and known to the simple. He is known in the ecstasy of an awakening, which opens the door of life eternal. By the self we obtain power. And by vision, we obtained eternity. For a man who has known him the light of truth shines. For one who has known him not there is darkness. The wise who have seen him in every being on leaving this life attain immortality.
And then of course comes the little story about the Gods. In part three of the God Agni going and can't burn that blade of grass. Remember the story I began with tonight. That's in The Kena Upanishad right here. And so finally, Indra goes.
Then in the same region of the sky, the God saw a lady of radiant beauty. And she was Oma divine wisdom, the daughter of the mountains of snow. Who is that being that fills us with wonder? He asked. He is Brahman, the Supreme spirit, she answered. Rejoice in him since through him you attained the glory of victory. And the Gods Agni, Vayu and Indra excel the other Gods for they were the first that came near Brahman. And they first knew it he was the spirit Supreme. And thus Indra, the God of thunder excelled all other Gods for he came nearest to Brahman. And he first knew that there was a Supreme spirit concerning whom it is said he has seen in nature in the wonder of a flash of lightning. He comes to the soul in the wonder of a flash of vision. His name is Tottmenan, which translated means the end of love longing. As Tottmenan he should have adoration. All beings will love such a lover of the Lord.
And the Upanishad ends with the master saying, “You asked me to explain the Upanishad on the sacred wisdom. The Upanishad has been explained to you. In truth I have been telling you the secret teaching of Brahman. And then it ends, “Ohm Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.” Very short. Very profound.
There may translations of The Kena Upanishad. The, I'll give you a little couple of sentences from a commentary. There are not many commentaries on The Upanishads that are worth reading. But this one by **inaudible word or two** who is about 70 now and yes, he is about 70. He is the head of the Sri Aurobindo ashram outside of Puducherry in Southern India, a very large ashram. He's been here from time to time in the United States. This book of his on The Upanishads, Gateways of Knowledge on The Kena Upanishad. He gives us just this understanding. I extracted to give you a focus and then we'll go on to The Katha Upanishad.
The mind can only reflect in a sort of Supreme understanding and experience the form, the image of the Supreme as he shows himself to our mentality. Through this reflection we find we know the purpose of knowledge as accomplished. For we find immortality. We enter into the law, the being, the beatitude of the Brahman consciousness. By self-realization of Brahman, as ourselves, as ourself, we find the force, the divine energy, which lifts us beyond the limitation, weakness, darkness, sorrow. All pervading death of our mortal existence. By the knowledge of the one Brahman in all things, and in the various movements of the cosmos we attain beyond these things to the infinity. The omnipotent being. The omniscience light. The pure beatitude of that divine existence. And the achievement must be done here in this mortal world. In this limited body. It is here that that must be accomplished.
Well, he sort of the **inaudible word** going on the final arbiter of this kind of development is a confrontation with death. And it's very easy on one hand to set death aside as an image to be dealt with later. Or as an experience to be deferred later. But always again and again, we return because it seems to have some kind of a viscosity in consciousness appropriately, and death is always there as a surface pressure for life. And so, the penetration through that viscosity is necessary. For life to be itself it must take death into consideration. And in The Katha Upanishad, we find a case where the Upanishad teacher gives us an experience of that person whose serrata is so attacked that he goes to seek the ultimate master, death himself and to inquire of him for instruction. For discovery of enlightenment.
So, The Katha Upanishad is quite interesting. And it's probably the most translated of all The Upanishads. I rather think because there are indications that some of the symbolic structures in The Katha Upanishad appear in Plato. The Phaedrus especially uses the same imagery in several details. So that it's very difficult not to believe that at least by the time of Plato about 380 B.C. that The Katha Upanishad was known, at least in the Hellenistic beginning world. I would think of by at least 350 B.C., The Katha Upanishad would be expected to be known in the Western world. It was included in a translation done into the Persian. Fifty Upanishads were chosen to be translated into the Persian. And from the Persian they were translated into Latin. And Arthur Schopenhauer in the last century read The Katha Upanishad and felt that that was the ultimate expression. Something which out distanced himself or Hagle or Khant any of the people in the German enlightenment. He felt that of these ancient Upanishadic teachers had really settled in long enough on the quintessential questions and realizations and have penetrated through and been able to express back out again those experiences. So, The Katha Upanishad is quite formidable and quite excellent.
There is one little background that needs to be given because it doesn't occur in the Upanishad by itself. It occurs in another part of the large structure called The Yajur Veda, which is a selection and the redistribution of some of The Rig Veda material. No need to go into it here, but a story occurs there. And the basic story is this. That there is a, there was a kind of a sacrifice where a man of great wealth and power would get to a certain place in his life. And he would have to make a sacrifice of everything that he owned to give it all away. To reduce himself down to nothing. Dispense his estate and thus purify himself by one of the roughest methods known. Men of wealth and position and so forth hate almost more than anything to give away their empire. Well, this one man was doing this sacrifice of giving everything away and his son observed this and observed the giving away of material and so forth. And the story focuses in on him seeing his father give away this, the cows. And so, he addresses himself to his father and he says to whom will you give me? And he's ignored, not heard. So, he asks again, and as one goes in these events, he must ask a third time. And this time his father turns and then an anger says, I will you to death.
And the boy's name is Nachiketas. And Nachiketas becomes the sacrifice to death. And he goes to the house of death, Yama with serrata. With this kind of faith and confidence, because he has heard a voice. And the voice has told him, Nachiketas when you go to the house of Yama do not eat any food. And one is reminded of the old Orphic mystery that one can leave the house of death and hell if one has not partaken of the food there. Same sort of thing.
So, Nachiketas goes in and the voice tells him, you will be asked what you ate the first night, tell the Lord of death that you ate his offspring. And he would say, what did you eat the second night? Tell him you ate his cattle, his sacrifices. And when he asks you what you ate the third night, tell him that you ate his good works, and then you will be protected. So Nachiketas goes in and he has this experience. When the Lord of death comes in, I imagine Darth Vader would be a good image of that and addresses this poor little boy. But the little boy has had the voice and he has been told. And he has the triple charm. He has that, that wonderful Hermetic shield that exists at all times in places. And so, Yama says, what did you eat? And the little boy gives out the lineage that first night he ate the offspring, the second night the cattle and the third night the good works.
And so, Yama suddenly relaxes his terrible visage and presence. And he says, you have earned three boons from me, three gifts from me. And just as in the **inaudible word** structure of these, the very first thing that boy asked for was that he be allowed to return to his father's house and then his father accept him. Because this is not a light boon, but it is indicative of the fact of his serrata. He has faith that one can reenter again the frame of reference that one loves the knows and is familiar with. That that is proper. It's like Odysseus’ homecoming is not a simple thing at all. It is the most profound thing in the universe. So, at the first boon he asked for it is that he be allowed to return to his home and to be accepted by his father. And so, the Lord of death grants him this.
And the second boon that he asked for is that he knows that if anyone has the information that Yama the Lord of death knows the right sacrifice by which to attain of life immortal. And so, Yama gives him a kind of a triple fire sacrifice. Instructs him, just how many bricks to build this altar and just how to set it up. And how to go through the sacrifice. So that he, and then he says, because you will take this back, it will name, be named forever the Nachiketas sacrifice.
And for those who have been coming, you recognized this pattern as one that occurs in American Indian mythology. It is one that occurs in Chinese mythology. The bringer power of the divine gifts to someone who has gone through this experience through that surface tension to beyond.
So, then Yama, the Lord of death says, what is your third boon? And Nachiketas says, I know that she most powerful teacher that I will ever have. And I want you to learn from here the answer to the question, do I exist after death or not? And the Lord of death says, don't ask me this. Ask for something like castles etc. etc. And Nachiketas says no. I don’t want this. I want to know, do I do I exist after death or not? And the Lord of death admonishes him again and again. And finally, Nachiketas will not be put off. And the part of The Katha Upanishad that, that closes here. I guess we should read this. It is a very dramatic.
Take horses and gold and cattle and elephants. Choose sons and grandsons that shall live a hundred years. Have vast expanses of land and live as many years as you desire. Or choose another gift that you think equal to this. And enjoy it with long life. Be a ruler of this master. I wrote grants you all your desires. Ask for any wishes in the world of mortals, however hard to obtain. To attend on you I will give you a fair maidens with chariots and musical instruments. But ask me not Nachiketas the secrets of death. Nachiketas says all these pleasures pass away the end of at all. They weaken the power of life. And indeed, how short is life. Keep your horses. Keep your dancing. Keep your singing. Man could not be satisfied by them. Shall we enjoy wealth with you in sight? Shall we live while you are in power? I can ask for only one boon. Solve than the doubt as to the great beyond. Grant me to gift that unveils the mystery.
That is the only gift Nachiketas can ask. And of course, what he’s asking for. He's asking for how to untie the knot, the final knot. And so that the ribbon of eternal life may run free and be suspended. And death, and I think an image that you could conjure up for yourself here is the image from Bergman's film The Seventh Seal death playing chess with the night. Death is trying not to lose someone. Not to lose this person. But Nachiketas has it by all rights, because of his serrata. Because of his intense honesty all the way through, he is able to maintain himself. Even after having been assured that he will be able to go back and reentered his world. That he will go back with a fantastically valuable triple sacrificial treasure. He still knows that by all rights, he still as an individual has the right to hear by his own hearing and see by his own understanding, the pen ultimate truth of the universe. And he has worked to be there to that moment. He will have nothing else. What else would there.
So, Death says. In part two of The Katha Upanishad, it begins. Let's, let’s go to this translation here. This is old Ramakrishna **inaudible word** edition. And let's go to their beginning. The second chapter. The word for word translation runs like this. First word is different. Different. The good and different indeed. The pleasant. They both have different requisitions, man **inaudible word**. Of these two the good of him who accepts, follows good. Becomes. And from the goal falls away, who the pleasant chooses. Word for word. And it turns out to be something like this. “One thing is the good and quite different indeed, is the pleasant. Having been of different requisitions they both bind the **inaudible word**. Good befalls him that for him who follows the good. But he loses the goal who chooses the pleasant.”
And Mascaro says, “there is the path of joy and there's the path of pleasure. Both attract the soul. Who follows the first comes to good. Who follows pleasure, reaches not the end. Two paths lie in front of man. Pondering on them the wise man chooses the path of joy. The fool takes the path of pleasure.”
And I think one thing that needs to be brought out here. It's kind of difficult to **inaudible word or two** this so I’ll put it on the board. The person who is in with a polarized mind will see literally with a double **inaudible word**. Or **inaudible few words**. Sees in that way. They will always carry that characteristic with them. In is perception and his contraception. And there’s self-regard. And Constantly we will be dividing and polarizing himself and the world and others. Whereas the path of the good was one of integration. Their original polarity which was a complementarity and constantly keeps weaving back together again and keeps coming back. These are the two paths that The Katha Upanishad is talking about. There’s two different ways to see the very same thing. The one leads to the good. The other leads to the dead end.
So, this is the Lord of death who was talking to Nachiketas and he begins in the second chapter of laying it out. And he goes on this way,
You have pondered on pleasures Nachiketas and you have rejected them. You have not accepted that chain of possessions where with men bind themselves and beneath which they sink. There is the path of wisdom and the path of ignorance. They are far apart. They lead to different ends. You are, Nachiketas, the follower of the path of wisdom. Many pleasures tempt you not. Abiding and...
And pleasure here is not pleasure like a soft hand or beautiful flower. Pleasure is this kind of power dominance of the mind to tear things apart. I know, I know how that goes. Like that. The destroyer of named form and action. The polarizer. The splaying the creativity on the spirit of a mental map. Making an idol out of illusion.
So, the Lord of death we find in The Katha Upanishad by the second chapter is already busy instructing Nachiketas. And what he’s instructing him towards is he's giving him a horizon, a background, a foundation, upon which he may answer the young boys question. Because what he will tell him will not be understandable or visible unless he lays a ground of foundation. There must be the house of understanding for Nachiketas to be in before he can understand that the house itself is there. And So, Yama, the God of death takes over in the Upanishad and becomes the teacher. So, there’s a wonderful twist of events. And he goes on and speaks to this way,
Before your eyes have been spread Nachiketas, the fulfillment of all desire. The dominion of the world. The eternal reward of ritual. The shore where there is no fear. The greatness of fame. And boundless spaces. With strength and wisdom, you have to renounced them all. When the wise rests his mind in contemplation on our God beyond time, who invisibly dwell from the mystery of things. And in the heart of man, then he rises above pleasures and sorrow.
“When a man has heard and has understood and finding the essence, reaches the end most then he finds joy in the source of joy. Nachiketas is a house open for thy Atman, thy God.”
So, he's addressing the boy. He's addressing, addressing Nachiketas. And suddenly he says, calls his name. He says Nachiketas. Nachiketas is a house open. You yourself are a house and you're open for your Atman. For Brahman.
And Nachiketas by this time begins to comport himself a little bit. And he says, well tell me what you see beyond right and wrong. Beyond what is done or not done. Beyond past and future. Death says,
I will tell you if you're worried that all The Vedas glorifying and all self-sacrifice expresses, all sacred stays and Holy life **inaudible word**. That word is ohm. Ohm. That word is the everlasting Brahman. That word is the highest end. When that sacred word is known all longings are fulfilled. It is the supreme means of salvation. It is the help supreme. When that great word is known one is great in the heaven of Brahman. Atman with spirited vision is never born and never dies. Before him there was nothing that he is one forevermore. Never born and eternal. Beyond times gone or times to come. He does not die when the body dies.
So, he is telling Nachiketas that he himself is this house being prepared and that he is open. And he is open. He is listening. He is listening to a discourse and death hones it down to ohm, which is a sacred word. Which takes in, in its own utterance all of the capacities of the voice to utter. From the depths of the throat, to the palatable air surrounding the tongue, to the closing of the mouth on the m, to even the silence beyond.
So, what he is saying to Nachiketas, your realization of the supreme in your own self through a medium of language has a fine pinpoint of an apex point of recognition. And that that is well within your range now to him. Then he backs off from that having to **inaudible word** that, seed Nachiketas. And he begins describing that the outline is a spirit of vision. That the Brahman is actually that word. As he's shaping for Nachiketas by language and by his movement here a sense of positioning and his own presence. That will respect to him, not some kind of an appearance, but that basic spark and flame. And later on, the Lord of death describes that flame as sort of a thumb size flame of life in the heart, in the Anahata chakra. And that that thumb sized flame then the heart has a hundred different paths that it could take. 101 different paths. A hundred path that would lead to further involvement in life and birth and death and reincarnation and all the classical cluttering of the world frame. But one of those paths leads through corono chakra through the crown of the head and that that path leads to the immortality. And that that path can be traversed by realization and that Nachiketas being the house for that path is now open and ready to have it.
So then in the…should we go on or should we have a break? No? Go on? Okay.
The third part of The Katha Upanishad brings in this wonderful description then of the body and the spirit being almost in metaphor, like the charioteer and a chariot. And the senses being the horses. And it's the same metaphor that Plato uses in The Phaedrus. Socrates is chatting with Phaedrus and they've been talking about reality and about all the wonderful things that Socrates really loved to talk about. He uses the same metaphorical description of the chariot from the charioteer. And this is how it comes out,
In the secret high place of the heart two beings. We drink the wine of life in the world of truth. Those who know Brahman, those who keep the five sacred fires and those who light the threefold fire of Nachiketas open light and shade. May we light the sacred fire of Nachiketas, the bridge to cross to the other shore where there is no fear. The Supreme everlasting spirit. Know the Atman is the Lord of the chariot and the body as the chariot itself. Know that reason, reason is the charioteer. And the mind indeed is the reigns. The horses they say are the senses and their paths are the objects of sense. When the soul becomes one with the mind and the senses, he is called one who has joys and sorrows. He who has not right understanding and whose mind is never studied is not the ruler of his life. Like a bad driver with wild horses, they go every which way. And humans still work they're dragged on, unwilling sometimes. But he who has right understanding and whose mind is ever steady is the ruler of his life. Like a good driver with well-trained horses, they go where he wants to go.
And he picks the objective. He picks the purpose. And he moves the reigns, and the steads carry him. And so that's the horses. And you have to understand that at this time the horse was a primordial universal symbol of powerful utility. Powerful utility. At the beginning of The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad there's a meditation on the rising sun of the eye of the horse and the winds in its mane. The horse was not simply a domestic farm animal. It was a primordial image. This is a metaphor of, of the way in which power is not just great but it's utilizable by man. It’s a man-sized applicability. The senses are the horses.
“The man whose chariot is driven by reason who watches and holds the reigns of his mind reaches the end of the journey, the supreme everlasting spirit.” And this is the beginning as you see it right here.
Beyond the senses are there objects. And beyond the objects is the mind. And the beyond the mind is pure reason. Beyond reason pure is the spirit in man. And beyond the spirit of man is the spirit of universe. And beyond that, the supreme spirit. Nothing beyond that. He is the end. He is the path. The light of the Atman, the spirit is invisible. Concealed in all beings. It is seen by the seer of the subtle when their vision is keen and is clear. The wise should surrender speech and mind. And mind in the knowing self. The knowing self and the spirit of the universe. And the spirit of the universe and the spirit of peace.
And again, we have this kind of **inaudible word or two** this kind of entity that brings us in ever closer until finally we find that point. That is, it. That point is the speech, the mind. And further in the knowing self and the spirit of the universe. And so, on this kind of kind of imagery. So that we have an interlocking of some kind of an imagery have a concentric kind of an imagery. Almost as if the stone has been thrown and the ripple have gone out and now if you count back the ripples you will count back to that very point itself. That is where the realization was. The fact that you saw the ripples was fine. You're on the way. You are a student. But one must not be content with that one. One must go back and come down to what it was that began. All of that ripping motion began the pattern. That is discernible. That is attainable. And then the vision is one’s own. That is, it. So, this is an instructional being given.
And in the fourth part, there is a litany with a reoccurring refrain. And it reads something like this. I’ll excerpt it out. You'll get the sense of that. The whole fourth part ran. Something like this. The refrain is true is, this in truth is that. This in truth is that. So, the refrain take that kind of bifurcation by which logic always must stand in its shape that this and that must be distinct. True and false because often one constructs the truth trees of learning without having that differentiation. So, the Upanishad out in its refrain here, master takes it and turns the, the ends in on itself. This in truth is that. You know the saying. And turning it in like that as a refrain begins a litany didn't and it runs like this.
The foolish run after outward pleasures and fall into the snares of vast embracing death. But the wise have found immortality. Do not seek the eternal and things that pass away. This by which we perceive colors and sounds, perfumes and kisses of love. This which alone we attain knowledge. By which we verily we can be conscious of anything. This in truth is that. When the wise knows that it is through the great and omnipotent spirit in us that we are conscious and waken or in dreaming, then he goes beyond sorrow. When he knows the outline Atman, the self, the inner life who enjoys like a bee the sweetness of the flowers with of the senses. The Lord of what was and what will be. Then he goes beyond fear. This in truth is that. The God of creation who in the beginning was born from the fire of Thot before the waters were. **inaudible word** appeared in the elements and that having entered the heart. This in truth is that. The Goddess of infinity who come because light power and nature. Who is born from the elements and rests having entered the **inaudible word**. This in truth is that.
And it goes on. And the litany brings in the most wonderful kind of imagery of reaching out from all creation, all the metaphors and bringing it into together and sewing into this fabric of a unitary vision. Because the teaching here is that one’s own self is the house and it's open. And the sound that would start the whole rippling pattern of realization can't be made by oneself. You have to just be encouraged to do it. And so not telling you anymore, except just weaving this wonderful fabric of a unity of the universe before one. Encouraging one and the most dramatic and companionable way possible. Please do it yourself. Here it is and it's all meaningful. Please do it yourself. Do it now. That sort of thing.
This in truth is that. And then he gives one last difference. He says,
Just as if you see water raining on a mountain and the **inaudible word** running down every which way do you think that it would be wise for you to try and chase all those **inaudible word**. To chase the millions of them? No. But as pure water raining on pure water. Just like that. Pure water raining on pure water. Becomes one in the same. So, becomes oh Nachiketas the goal of the sage who knows.
Just that simple.
So, there's a part five and a part six. And I think the only image from here, and then we'll, we'll take the break. At the beginning of part six, the Sage finally lays for Nachiketas something in which he now can understand. He says, “Nachiketas, the tree of eternity has its roots growing up and it branches down.” And Nachiketas knows that this is not a super-natural image. In is in fact a natural image that is no longer reflecting simply on mental appearances. And that in fact, the eye presents him just like that, primordially, the tree upside down. And he understands that the sage is not playing with him. But it's finally giving him that most utterly forthright language. “The tree of eternity has its roots in heaven above and its branches reached down to earth. It is Brahman, spirit, pure spirit who in truth is called the immortal. All the world's rest on that spirit. And beyond him, no one can go. This in truth is that.” And so, we have this kind of, of a reiteration.
Let’s pause there and, and take a break. I'm drying out myself.
The Isha Upanishad is here. There’s a friend of mine in India that translated The Isha Upanishad. And there’s about five copies here. If anybody wants to take one, you're welcome to do it. It’s a, you get some, there’s three different translations by three different men. So, it’s a different comparative idea on top of **inaudible word or two**. In English and I think…
**inaudible comment/question from the room**
No, it’s fine. Later on, when we get time why we can make our **inaudible word or two**
In keeping with the spirit of The Upanishads. And in fact, all the things that we were ever, we will ever study or take a look at together, it's best to change location from time to time. And we don't yet have facility to have a convenient forest grove. So, I think the library and a little muted line is a good position to be in. Also, we'll invite comments or interchanges and so forth after a bit. I think it's good too for you to hear each other. I come from the tradition, both classical Greek and classical Chinese mainland, where proper education ends by the teacher leaving the students to themselves. And I know that he had not that kind of large term pattern structure operating here, but I try to always edge toward it. I can't help I was trained that way. And so, I like to, at least once in a while, give you a chance to observe me dropping out of the picture and you people taking over. It's just one of those little paradigms of spiritual democracy that I always respect. And I think that should be encouraged every chances you get.
We've got two other Upanishads there I want you to take a look at tonight. Just briefly. We really don't have all that much time. But just to sum up The Katha Upanishad in part six began with the image that the tree of eternity has its roots in heaven above and its branches reach down to earth. “It is Brahman, pure spirit, who in truth is called the immortal. All the world's rests on that spirit. Beyond him none can go. This in truth is that.”
Now these Upanishads are composed roughly between 800 and 200 B.C. And they were largely composed in forested retreats. Some of them in actual mountain retreats. And were reported and passed on from student to student. And they are the source material of just about any school of thought in India. And as you can see from the references to Plato and we could go on and find other ones in fact. Almost anywhere. Right up to our present day. And from time to time there come along generations of people for whom The Upanishads, like the earlier Pre-Socratic thought, sings to them again. And raises the kinds of issues, which, and answers, which they feel familiar with.
In the 1920’s and 30’s of our time was a period of great spiritual Renaissance. And two English language poets became interested in The Upanishads. One was the American poet T.S. Elliot and the other was the great Irish Poet W.B. Yeats. And Yeasts, who was one of the greatest of poets, near the end of his life helped make, made a translation of ten Upanishads with a swami friend of his. And it was published in 1937. Here’s a copy of it by **inaudible word**. The Ten Principe Upanishads. And Yeats, who at that time was probably the most famous poetic voice in the world, had a beautiful way of translating the largest of all The Upanishads, The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad. The Giant Forest Upanishad. And in this edition with commentary by Shankara it runs around a thousand pages. And it's very difficult for one to **inaudible word** wind your way through with any kind of attentiveness of feeling continuity to the forms and patterns. And one gets lost very easily after several hundred pages. Especially with the commentary and so forth.
Yeats with his wonderful poetic vision and his great for compacity with the English language, late in his life. He was at that time in the late thirties married to a woman who is doing **inaudible word** writing and she was having spiritual visitations from a being who was named by them Michael Robarts. And Yeats was taking the writing of his wife, which was just coming in automatic chaos. And he was compiling all of these pages and pages and reams and reams of material into a book, which he later on published called A Vision. And it’s about the lunation cycle, the lunar cycle. The **inaudible word** of the moon, the lunar cycle in cosmic philosophy.
And so, while Yeats using his tremendous intelligence insight and language capabilities to render his wife's massive automatic writing into A Vision. He was also at the very same time helping make this translation of The Upanishads. And so, when he looked at The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad his wonderful capacities were in full swing. He was revved up. And so, he looked at this enormous tone and he reshaped it, recut it with this wonderful Irish mythological insightful mind that he had.
And in his translation, he excerpts out to begin a statement which is embedded in The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad which has become a sort of almost again, a quintessential aspiring in language, in a triad. And it runs like this, “Lead me from the unreal to the real. Lead me from darkness to light. Lead me from death to immortality.” And then he began his translation of the Upanishad **inaudible word or two**
In the beginning, all things were self in the shape of personality. He looked round, saw nothing but himself. The first thing he said was, it is I. Hence, I became his name. Therefore, even now, if you ask him who he is, he first says it is I and gives whatever name he has. He is the eldest of all. Because he destroyed all evil, he is called the first person. He who knows this destroys all evil and takes the first **inaudible word**. He became afraid. Loneliness creates fear. Loneliness creates fear. He thought that there was nothing, but by itself, why should I be afraid? Then his fear passed away. There was nothing to fear. Fear comes when there is a second. As a lonely man is unhappy, so he was unhappy. He wanted the companion. He was as big as man and wife together. He divided himself into two, husband and wife were born. **Inaudible word or two** said, man is only half himself. His wife is the other half. They join and mankind was born. She thought he shall not have me again. He has created me for himself. I will hide myself. She then became a cow. He became a bull. They joined and cattle was born. Then she became a mare. He became a stallion. She became **inaudible word**. He became a **inaudible word**. They joined and hoofed animals were born.
Goats and so on and so forth. Then he created everything. Everything down to ants, male and female.
Then he put his hand into his mouth and there creating fire as if he were churning butter. He knew that he was this creation. He created it from himself. That he was the cause. Who knows **inaudible word** his creation joyful. When they say sacrifice to this or that God may talk a separate Gods, but all Gods are created by him. And he is all Gods.
And it goes on like that. That's his translation. That's his tone. That's how it begins.
And here in a book called The Principal Upanishads edited and translated by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan is an excerpt from another **inaudible word** translating The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad and it runs like this. This is Radhakrishnan, who was the first president of India and a great philosopher. He taught at Oxford in England among other places. This is his translation. Notice the difference in tone.
This earth is like honey for all creatures. And all creatures are like honey for this earth. This shining immortal person who is in this earth and with reference to oneself. This shining immortal person who has ended the **inaudible word**. He indeed is just this self. This is immortal. This is Brahman. This is all. This water is like honey for all beings. And all beings are like honey for this water. This shinning immortal person who is in this water and with reference to oneself. This shining immoral person existing as the sea and the body. He is indeed just this self. This is immortal. This is Brahman. This is all.
And it goes on like this. We go to the fire. We go to the Sun. We go to the four corners. We go to the moon. We go to lightning. All are honey for this earth and this earth is honey for them. The clouds, space, the law, the truth, mankind. “This self, this self is like honey for all beings. And all beings are like honey for this self. This shining immortal person who is in this self and the shining and immortal person who is in this individual self. He is just the self. This is immortal. This is Brahman. This is all.” And it goes on like that.
The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad has this enormity to it, this grand design. Where with all the time in the world and all of the phenomenal ability in the world, the masters of this Upanishad layout painstakingly, petal after petal until a whole chrysanthemum of experiential information has been given over. The pace, the intervaling is just slow and articulate and amble as you could ever want. About 150 pages of this.
In contrast to The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad in its length and its gigantic, graceful posture is the shortest of all of the Upanishads It's only 18 versus long. And it's called The Isha. And The Isha Upanishad is one of the latest. It was written roughly around 250 B.C. About the time of The Bhagavad Gita. And in 18 short verses. It's only a page or so long. It gives a whole different pacing to articulation. It runs something like this. And compare it in your experiences as you hear it, as you listen to The Kena, The Katha, The Brhadaranyaka. And now The Isha.
Behold the universe in the glory of God. And all of it lives and moves on earth. Leaving the transient find joy in the eternal. Set not your heart on another’s possessions. Working thus, a man may wish for a life of a hundred years. Only action done in God bind not the soul of man. There are demon haunted worlds, regions of utter darkness. Whoever in life denied the spirit falls into that darkness of death. The spirit without moving is swifter than the mind. The senses cannot reach him. He is ever beyond this. Standing still he overtakes those who would run. To the ocean of it’s being the spirit of life leaves **inaudible few words**. He moves and moves not. He is far and he is near. He is within all and he is outside all. Who sees all beings in his own self and his own self in all beings loses fear. When a sage sees this great unity and his self has become all being, what delusion, what sorrow can ever be near him. The spirit fills all with his radiance. He is incorporeal and invulnerable. Pure and untouched by evil. He is the supreme seer and thinker. Eminent and transcendent. He placed all things in the path of eternity. Into deep darkness fall those who follow actions. Into further darkness fall those who follow knowing. One is the outcome of knowledge and another is the outcome of action. Thus, have we heard from the ancient sages who explained this truth to us. He who knows both knowledge and action with action overcomes death and with knowledge reaches immortality.
You see here again that double binding in the differentiation. And the showing that when they're seeing the very same things with a spiritual insight that they come back, they interpenetrate each other. And that unity, that unity is the path. That inner penetrating of all the disperates coming back together, reweaving themselves into the fabric of an envisioning. That is enough in itself. And that is explained, as he says here, from the ancient sages who explained this truth to us.
And then The Isha relates,
He who knows both the transcendent and the imminent, with the imminent overcomes death and with the transcendent reaches’ immortality. The face of truth remains hidden behind a circle of gold. Unveil it oh God of light. That I love the two may see. Oh, life giving son, offspring of the Lord of creation, solitary seer of heaven, spread your light. Withdraw your blinding splendor that I may behold your radiant form. That spirit far away within thee is inside my own most being. May life go to immortal life and the body go to ashes. Ohm, Oh my soul. Remember past drivings, remember oh my soul. Remember past drivings. Remember by the path of good lead us to find the place oh fire divine. Thou God who knows to always deliver us from wandering evil. Prayers, adoration, we offer. Ohm shanti, shanti, shanti.
So, in just a page or so the refinement of this tremendous tradition of The Upanishads for all intents and purposes comes to at least a pausing. Not a close because there were Upanichad…Upanishads written later. But with The Isha comes this final statement, not reduced down but pattern, the geometric facility that was developed through the Upanishadic visioning comes down to just this thumbnail sketch. And we'll see that at the end of this lecture series where the tradition of ancient classical Asia, Asia comes down in The Prajnaparamita Sutras to just a quintessential utterances of phrasings and words, which one could keep with one wherever one went. And thus, wisdom was made mobile and imperishable.
Well, I think we would like to hear from each other for just a few minutes or so. Some of you who have been coming for a long time, for over a year now, can see how all of this information reverberates back through everything that we've covered no matter what it is. And I think just seeing this Isha Upanishad translation from John's friend here. You remember the time that we put a graph on the board that the beginning of that invocation had the word infinity. And every other word in the invocation was infinity. As if to say no matter what you said or what you thought it was all enfolding and coming back to the infinite. And therefore, with that kind of tone and consciousness and designing capacity in your vision, you only need 18 versus.
Allow me a graceful swallow of coffee. I suppose a lot of you like myself, hiked the mountains and spent your time there can well imagine these happenings and other countries so many thousands of years ago.
I remember an image that I saw one time. I showed a film in Berkeley, I guess it was about 13 years ago now at the university of California. It was a 10-hour film on Mahatma Gandhi. And I brought it over from India because I was tired of the violence. And I wanted to have some spectacular event. So, we got ahold of the biggest auditorium in Darnell Hall and showed it there. And the opening shots of this film was a chant from The Upanishads, I believe from The Chandogya Upanishad in Sanskrit. And the camera was panning along the mountains and showing you this wonderful aspiring terrain going up. And then when I finished it’s pan, they raised it up about three or four more degrees. And you saw that what you thought were clouds were in fact clouds below the peaks of The Himalayas, which were even higher than the clouds. And you just got this sense that it must've graphically occurred to them that not only heaven reachable, but it was right there. There was no possibility to think that you'd never could get there because there it was way above the clouds, the land. The land of the snows.
So, our experience, I think sometimes highlights these things. Gives, it, gives it that prism where the, the radiance of its meaning finally gives us a spectrum of understanding.
**inaudible several words from the room**…I’m reading books now that **inaudible few words** started out to be. Now as I read **inaudible few words** and I find an increased understanding that I…**inaudible several words/sentences** but to go back and read that in six months because things might **inaudible word or two** and make new connections that have not possibly been made before. But the astounding thing is it’s the way it happens. And purposely I think it’s just **inaudible few words** all my life pushing and straining and for this I **inaudible few words** and cry and stamp my feet. And to make things happen very nicely on their own is **inaudible few words**
It is in fact.
**inaudible few words** it’s all a bed of roses. **inaudible few words** one is going to examine oneself **inaudible word or two **. Found to me there are times when one is not on the **inaudible few words**
I would say over all the **inaudible word** of the experience is critical. And so beautiful and so **inaudible few words**. Even though I have so many questions and I have to force myself to ask any questions now, I am confident with those answers **inaudible few words**.
And that’s very **inaudible few words**
Yes, that confidence.
**inaudible several words** Why is this this way? And then I think of the questions that I have spent years that have suddenly been answered. And I know that as I continue to read, and my mind expands, and I continue to use my mind all of this will fall into place. That takes a lot of patience I think
Yes, that’s for sure. The pacing of oneself over a long duration. That's actually where a teacher really comes in handy as a hearth fire around which to gather once patience. And companions and so forth. And that's an even more important function in education for teachers then actually lesson plan or anything like that. Just being there dependably, honestly. Year in and year out. And that’s it.
**inaudible few words** don’t you think to some extent **inaudible several words** some of the things that we’ve been saying relates to another **inaudible several words** writings. And which **inaudible word** all tie together so nicely. It’s so very meaningful but it’s that experience that can **inaudible several words** in some strange way it gives you a sort of a reference guide. It does for me **inaudible word or two**. What it is for me is a reference as far as **inaudible several words**. I seem to do all the talking when we have these sessions. **inaudible few words** I spend a lot of time talking. And I think I am going to leave a little early so I will leave this seat so that someone else can do the talking. **inaudible word** take over.
You don’t have to leave **inaudible word** because I have been sitting here waiting to get mine in. You got me **inaudible few words**.\
**inaudible few words**
No, that’s fine.
What she was saying reminded me of something that's been coming up with me this week. And that was everything that I'm doing now, like studying here. And it's like the subject matter is **inaudible word or two** that large. Only I can’t reach that far. And everything in my past life seems to have had limitations or bonded put on them. And I know I happened to mention to someone that I work with, that I'm taking lectures and studying philosophy. Well, how longs that going to take? And my answer was the rest of my life. And they went oh, I thought maybe a year or so. But I feel like for the first time I have something that I don't have a limit to.
And there’s a really **inaudible word or two**
Right. A relief and release.
In retrospect the other function comes in and becomes very viable. Usually that isn't perceptible for, oh I would say several years or so. But eventually it does. It comes into view. And that's a wonderful graphic way of showing that the, there's no sense in trying to make an object of it because you can't possibly spread your nets that wide. And the whole temptation to snatch at the world with the mind, to take your treasures and have them and possess them is obviously not working. And so, one can stop doing that and comport in a different way. And that's where this process of discovery comes in like Molly was saying. That once we quiet that aggressive collecting of this and that totally different and surprising natural rhythm begins to take over. And we find that we're being alerted to the world in ways that we just simply haven't believed for a long time. Or perhaps have never been shown. And that in our present having stumbled around a lot, grasping we're now in a position to really sense the articulation of the interval as much as the note. And very often, we then get the sense of the composition and the form. Because only with the proper interval articulation would say an arrangement is not a form become perceivable. And so, the world finally becomes discoverable as an utterly enchanting adventure. Whereas before it was episodic do or die kind of a struggle in really.
Yeah, it’s like little, tiny **inaudible few words**.
Yeah. Keeping track of how many of those you have, you were successful more or less. And it's a great shock. And that's why I think made a virtue out of humility. To realize that all those gold stars didn't relate to anything usable. Yeah, and that's pretty amazing.
Well, I taught for 10 years and I can tell you that the university systems degenerate the capacity to understand more than the encourage it. And you end up debilitated. And what is really heart rendering is that if you think back after having had an experience like that, an education very expensive, the retentive capacity of what you paid for and got and so forth after five or 10 or 15 years is very, very small. And did not grow at all. And in fact, faded and shrank. Well, these are what we used to call the fields of **inaudible word**. That really is death. Just fading away. And your egotistical impression is that you knew. You already had them. You took the course in that. You have a degree in that. You knew. And so, on the basis of that competence, you're **inaudible word** first into the world. And when you finally examine it you realize that it's just on a fading basis of really nothing whatsoever. That that pride is base. And that it takes a lot to reorganize oneself to. And so, yeah, we come, we come back to this kind of a situation.
But the interesting thing is, is that like a, like a natural pattern, that's been truncated for a long time, it very rapidly and **inaudible few words** it comes back. I think that Ivan Ilyich in The Death of Ivan Ilyich it takes him about two or three hours to realize he's able to do it. He’s able to let go.
I have put on the blackboard, I guess maybe about two dozen times in the last year, kind of a, of a design showing that all of this material enters into an expression, which could be called a field of inquiry. And that one should not be in any hurry whatsoever to make a pattern out of it. To see some linkage in it. Or to try and just settle them in and choose a lecture here or a lecture or something like that. But really the utility is in just experiencing in continuity that ever-enriching field of inquiry. And those naturally selective processes, which are, that work wonderfully when they come into play, they'll just like birds of the spirit. And when they finally have air to fly, they take off by themselves. And then all of these other kinds of patterns happen. And like Molly when she started, she didn't want to hear about anything. There was nothing to be said. There **inaudible word** is not damn good. Well, yes, that is very understandable. But this is understandable also. That anything one does finally begins to line down for everything else. That kind of thing.
I can find this myself somewhere in the reading but also in just **inaudible few words**. And in interpersonal relationships and you find just something good in **inaudible word** or **inaudible word** and things like **inaudible word**. And its unfolded in so many different ways in….
Yeah. I like that term. Mr. Hall likes that term too. That unfolding. It literally opens itself out…
**inaudible several words/sentence or two from the room**
Even looking at plants and natural phenomenon. She's, she’s being able to see the unfolding and perception of certain kinds of metaphors of order. You know.
**inaudible several words/sentence or two from the room**
Although we did that seminar series last year. Yeah.
This was my favorite book, Mr., Mr. Halls. Who will be teaching this **inaudible several words/sentence or so**.
And I think going back over again just the opposite kind of a process. Instead of getting bored because you think, Oh, I've seen that. It's coming back to something familiar with yet new angles and it's fuller. And life itself is fuller because of that. Yeah. And that's why I think I’m always universally **inaudible word** for spiritual development is that fullness. The pleroma is the full.
It's simply that. That any, and everything may be taken into consideration. You can’t throw anything away.
I remember one time sitting at a restaurant where they had served a slice of orange as the dessert. And I was mamby pamby and nibbling the orange and I was putting the rind down and **inaudible word** was sitting across from me. The guy who does The I-Ching calendar book a day. And he said, why are you not eating the other side of the orange? I picked it up, you know how do you do this? Really curious. I cavalierly took a nibble, and it was good. I thought it wasn't something. He said, nothing and went on eating as if you know, certain I had just temporarily forgotten.
Well next week we get to the, the, certainly the, the, the most fun and delightful inside, outside kind of a word that anybody ever wrote. The Tao Te Ching is just the most miraculous dragon like book I think that anybody ever has run across. And a tradition relates in China, that it was delivered off the back of a water buffalo or mule by **inaudible word**. Who at age 200 or so had decided to retire from the Imperial archives. And was through with everything was riding West. And the keeper of the Hang Ku Pass stopped, and he said, you can't leave us flat. So, he dictated 5,000 characters off the back of this water buffalo. No punctuation. No grammar. No periods. And left. And that’s The Tao Te Ching. So, we’ll look at it next week.
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