June 12th, 2013

Rabbj Shapiro Explains Perennial Philosophy. (1) Being Is A Manifestation Of Non-Being.

Everything is a Facet of the One Thing

Think in terms of white light shining through a prism to reveal the full spectrum of color perceivable by the human eye: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Each of these colors is part of the original whole and cannot be separated from it—turn off the light source and the colors disappear. Now apply this metaphor to the world around and within you. Everything you see, think, feel, imagine, etc. is a part of and never apart from the same Source. We call this Source God, Reality, Brahman, Allah, One, Krishna, the Absolute, the Nondual, etc. The list of names is long, the reality to which they all point is the same.

What is Perennial Wisdom?

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Rabbi Shapiro Explains Perennial Philosophy (3) The God That Can Be Named Can't Be God

Absolute and Relative, and That Which Embraces Them Both

Imagine you are a wave on a vast shoreless sea. Imagine further than you come to realize that you and all the other waves of this sea are in fact nothing other than the sea waving, extending itself in time and space. You are still you—a wave—and yet so much more than you—the sea itself. Knowing yourself as wave is knowing the relative world, the world of seemingly separate beings. Knowing yourself as the sea is knowing the absolute world, the world of the One who is all these seemingly separate waves. But there is still another level of knowing, that is the unlabeled knowing that knows both sea and wave, that knows both the absolute and the relative. This knowing and the knower who knows it cannot be known; it cannot become the known; it cannot become an object. It is the eternal subject, the subject that cannot be made an object of knowing.

There is no name for this knower or this knowing. Any name would make it an object, and hence no longer the knower. This is where all language breaks down. Even the word “silence” is insufficient to describe what we are talking about here, because what we are talking about cannot be talked about, and hence cannot be described. And yet it is the truest Self, the truest you, the Eternal “I” beyond all temporary selves, God.

If this makes your head hurt, rest assured you are not alone. Just ask yourself, who is it who knows your head is hurting? Damn! You almost had it.
What is Perennial Wisdom?

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Rabbi Shapiro Explains Perennial Philosophy (2) Atman Is Brahman

You are That

Everything is a manifestation of God, everything. That means you. To know God is to know yourself; to know yourself is to know God. The quality of knowing I’m talking about isn’t knowledge about something other than yourself, because you cannot be other than God, the only being there is. Knowing God isn’t knowing through theological speculations about God, it is knowing God directly, the way a ray of sunlight knows the sun. When you know God directly you know God as yourself, but—and this is a huge but—you do not imagine you alone are God. Knowing you are God is knowing everything else is God as well. And knowing that you and everything else are God, is knowing that there is no you or anything else, there is only God.
What is Perennial Wisdom?

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Rabbi Shapiro Explains Perennial Philosophy (4) You Can't Know God; You Are God

Know God. No God.

It is popular today to speak of a purpose–driven life, or to speculate about why you are here. The answer provided by Perennial Wisdom is simple: to know God in, with, and as all reality, or, more simply, to know yourself as God. This is like a wave waking up to the fact that it is nothing but the ocean in extension. This doesn’t mean that you, or any given wave, are any less unique, precious, and worthy of utmost respect and dignity, only that all the rest of life is worthy of the same because all life is the same.

Knowing God as the Whole and the Part, and knowing that there is a knowing behind this knowing that is the Eternal I of which nothing can be said, frees you from imagining that any one Name of God is truer than any other Name. Krishna, Brahman, YHVH, Allah and the myriad other names of God are all God to the extent that these names point beyond themselves toward the Unnamed; and Krishna, Brahman, YHVH, Allah and the myriad other names of God are not God to the extent that they point only to themselves and their constituents.

Because you know all the names of God can be of value, you are free to explore the sacred literatures of the world to cull the wisdom they have to offer. Because you know that no name is exclusively God, you are free from having to surrender yourself to any one name or system of belief. This is the essence of what it is to be spiritually independent. You are open to wisdom from whatever system of belief it may come, and yet free from having to believe in that system as a whole in order to benefit from its wisdom.

What is Perennial Wisdom?

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Well, there is the hassle with the insurance company; and there is the loneliness and disorientation we both feel when we are not together and the additional autistic disorientation i feel when we are not together in our house.  There is also the snail's pace at which recovery and rehabilitation is moving.  But things are moving in, more or less, the "right" direction.  Dianne seems to have a little bit more strength and energy each day, for which i am very grateful.

The nursing home is the same one in which Dianne's twin died just nine years ago (after falling out of bed!)  So that our trepidation was high to begin with.  The combination of her condition, institutional constraints, insurance company policies, and our insistence on returning to Boise left us with few, if any, choices.  But it seems to be a good place with a compassionate, competent staff.  (No "bad apples" have emerged so far).  The food is actually excellent!  Her private room costs about $10,000 per month -- so if we end up having to pay it all, we will both be motivated even more strongly toward a quick recovery.

I am becoming more convinced that "his eye is on the sparrow," which, in different languages, is the core of every spiritual tradition i know of.  I am trying starting to see darkness as just another kind of light, a light i can't see because of my lack of spirituality.  I want systems to change, i want outcomes to change; but what needs changing is my failure to recognize my Self.