Wednesday, May 11, 2016

MAHARAJ: “Lightment” vs. Enlightenment, Part “III”

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In the book available below entitled What a Cherokee Grandmother Passed On to a Grandson, there is a discussion of how duality is modeled and copied by children who then become entrapped in dualistic thinking and talking and behaving for their entire relative existence; 

how some few are fortunate enough to be exposed to a 180-degree-opposite alternative; and how some will pursue that opposite mode of functioning and witnessing and seeing which can allow those few to have an opportunity to be freed from the darkness and to abide in the light.

In the book, the contrast is illustrated via the differences between being raised in the darkness of an inner city vs. spending time in the forests with a Cherokee Grandmother and seeing the light.

In the part of the city where I grew up, and in our homes, and in our schools, chaos and noise were the abnormal "norm." At Grandmother’s, quite the opposite was true. Only there, at that point in my life, was I able to experience while visiting her a norm which was actually totally normal . . . totally natural. 

I would come to feel that the lifestyle I was living in the city represented darkness and that the lifestyle in Grandmother’s cabin and surrounding forest represented light. Barely into the first few days of the first summer I spent there, there was an unconscious sense of that truth, that “there is a lightness here which is in total opposition to the darkness back there in the city.” Now there was no conscious or stated registering of that fact, only an awareness first of the physical differences between the two. 

That conscious awareness would only come after hearing hundreds of comments from Grandmother which were so diametrically-opposed to what I heard in our house in the city. But eventually a conscious awareness of that came, and what came with that understanding was that the light I saw and felt through Grandmother was – ultimately – not about any physical environment or particular location but was rooted instead in her totally different perspective; in her demeanor; in her coolness; in her calmness; 

in her stability; in her deportment; in her bearing; in her attitude of neutrality toward whatever life tossed her way (whether deemed by persons to be “good” or “bad”); and in her disposition which could not be affected or altered by the vicissitudes of nature or of humans. She was the epitome of steadiness and calm. She was the epitome of the light. After weeks or months around Grandmother, when I returned to the city, the far deeper contrasts began entering into the consciousness. 

The variables were so stark that the unconscious degrees of depression which came from living in that area of the city began registering in the consciousness, and the awareness came of what was being missed vs. what I was being exposed to and was having to try to deal with; that only heightened the sense of depression and darkness. 

In was then that the first inklings about ignorance vs. wisdom and insanity vs. sanity began to come into consciousness. I began to see how deep the darkness of duality can run. I began seeing duality on display at every turn:

The men in the neighborhood were all considered pillars of a church which banned the use of alcohol, but on Sunday evenings, after having spent most of the day in church, our family would join several others at the home of the Vaughns where the women went into one room to visit, where the children were sent outside or into another room to play, and where the men would gather in a third part of the house to get totally drunk. 

On other occasions, I witnessed a dad showing love to members of oppressed minorities, people whom he did not even know, while using the most abusive kinds of disciplining methods on me when I made the kind of mistakes that children make. 

For example, punishment was quick and severe for spilling milk which had been “bought with hard-earned money, working my ass off as a damn welder at a damn tank-making factory.” 

I also witnessed us gathering in the tiny living room every evening as dad read Bible verses to us, explaining how we should behave, only to see the exact opposite being done by adults both inside the home and outside as well. 

I saw or heard constant raging in all of the homes in our area, only to see the men leave those homes minutes later with the cheeriest smiles and offering the warmest greetings to the neighbors they met on the street. 

By the age of 5 or 6, because of what was being modeled in our home and in our neighborhood by both word and deed, duality had been implanted in my mind and had then been normalized. It would not be questioned until I came into contact with that speck of consciousness called “Grandmother.” 

Once that came, there would eventually follow a multi-year quest which took me on a long and arduous “journey,” a quest in search of some means by which (no matter where I was physically) I could enjoy - on a sustained basis - the kind of uninterrupted peace and unconditional happiness and steadfast calm and total independence which I was being given a taste of by Grandmother. 

If one is only served vinegar and bitters, those can become one’s abnormal “norm,” but for some, once they have tasted the honey, there is no going back. One might eat vinegar and bitters for some time, but the quest for honey – at least in some cases – will not end until it is found. 

Now, the question is this: have you ever studied your earliest years objectively to see clearly what was passed on to you? Have you looked honestly at what was actually taught and what was actually learned and what has been stored in your mind? Have you seen, without developing any resentment of those who programmed you, that much of what you have learned needs to be un-learned? The honey awaits. The light awaits.

To be continued.

 Please enter into the silence of contemplation.

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A new release, entitled What a Cherokee Grandmother Passed On to a Grandson, is available as of today.

The book (100 pages with pictures) reveals how Grandmother began introducing to me - as early as the ages of 5 and 6 - the non-dual teachings which her Asiatic ancestors brought with them when they migrated eastward across the Bering Strait to escape the invading Aryans. (Ironically, it would be later that Aryans and others who sailed westward from Europe invaded these lands and almost decimated her ancestors completely.)

The book contrasts what life was like when the author as a child escaped the chaos of the inner city and found periods of solitude when spending his summer vacations with a Cherokee Grandmother who lived in a small cabin in the Piney Woods of East Texas, who was a healer to many, and who was the first to introduce him to the non-dual teachings.

The book offers details of what life was like in the city, living on the same street as two warring gangs, living in a family in which the frustration of post-war poverty dominated all aspects of life, and facing hardships and challenges and chaos on a daily basis. Then, it offers a contrast of how peaceful and calm and stable life was when shared with a “fully-realized” Grandmother who modeled exactly how enjoyable a relative existence can be when the non-dual understanding is present. As young as I was in those days, Grandmother obviously recognized some possibilities and began laying the foundation for the “full understanding to come someday.”

The book also shares the hardships faced by Grandmother's ancestors who left Asia, who brought the Far Eastern teachings to what is now called “North America” and beyond, and who passed on to her the understanding which allowed her to maintain a state of unconditional happiness and lightness in spite of their land being taken from them, in spite of burying a husband and a son and raising her surviving children alone, and abiding in a manner which was marked by totally independence when most woman in the U.S., “Native American” or not, were often being forced into a life of dependency and co-dependency and, in many cases, servitude.

The book shows how tolerance allowed a marriage to thrive even as her husband was involved with a Baptist Church many days a week while Grandmother went daily into the forest to do whatever it was that she did.

Also offered are non-dual lessons which were commonplace among the indigenous peoples and which she passed on to me; lessons which revealed what is needed (and what is not needed) in order to abide contentedly and independently; other lessons learned while seeking the source of Grandmother’s uninterrupted happiness / contentment; lessons in some of the other ways and wisdom of the indigenous peoples; and what was revealed to me in my final visit with Grandmother before finishing high school and going off to college.

Everything she taught was consistent with what Maharaj taught, and if ever anyone adhered to the nisarga (natural) lifestyle throughout an entire relative existence, it was Grandmother. She pointed the way to me, and she can also point the way to you as well by way of what she taught, some of which in shared in this book.

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