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Subtle Essence

March 27th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

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The absolutely most important thing in my life is Spirituality, connecting with God[s] or whoever is running the Universe (I have entertained the possibility that there maybe more than a God but perhaps several Gods. So, I am a Universalist like Aldous Huxley. Read this tale – this says it all.

When Svetaketu was 12 years old he was sent to a teacher, with whom he studied until he was 24. After learning all the Vedas (Hindu Scriptures), he returned home full of conceit, in the belief that he was consummately well educated and very censorious.
His father said to him,” Svetaketu, my child, you who are so full of your learning and so censorious, have you asked for that knowledge by which we hear the unhearable, by which we perceive what cannot be perceived and know what cannot be known?”
His father replied, “As by knowing one lump of clay all that is made of clay is known, the difference being only in name, but the truth being that all is clay-so my child, is that knowledge, knowing which we know all.”
“But surely these venerable teachers of mine are ignorant of this knowledge; for if they possessed it they would have imparted it to me. Do you, sir, therefore give me that knowledge.”
“So be it , ” said the father….And he said, Bring me a fruit of the nyagrodha tree.”
“Here is one, sir.”
“Break it.”
“It is broken, sir.”
“What do you see there?”
“Some seeds, sir, exceedingly small.”
“Break one of these.”
“It is broken, sir.”
“What do you see there?”
“Nothing at all.”
The father said,” My son, that subtle essence which you do not perceive there-in that very essence stands the being of the huge nyagrodha tree. In that which is the subtle essence all that exists has its self. That is the true, that is the Self, and thou,Svetaketu, art that.”

I’ve read and re-read this a dozen times and I am completely captivated by it. THIS is what God is!!! It’s a non-physical “thing”…SUBTLE ESSENCE is my mantra.

My liberal atheist friends dismiss all this but I think they’re foolish. There is something MUCH MUCH more powerful than us. I after all have been to the other side. Yes, I died and had an NDE (Near Death Experience) and there IS something. I connected with God and I also saw the evil one. I won’t elaborate here, another time perhaps. But, I swear to you – THIS IS 100% TRUE!!!

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God and Psychedelics

March 7th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

I’m reading “The Psychedelic Gospels” by Jerry and Julie Brown. The case they present is the ONLY way to understand and experience God (make any sense of it all) is to ingest psychedelics (like Aldous Huxley did). Check this out:Gordon Wasson (1898-1986) took some sort of psychedelic mushroom and had a soul-shattering religious experience – ecstasy. he writes”…it permits you to see, more clearly than our perishing mortal eye can see, vistas beyond the horizons of this life, to travel backward and forward in time, to enter other planes of existence, even (as the Indians say) to KNOW GOD.” Though I’ve never personally experimented with psychedelics, this does make it absolutely enticing and compels you to think that YES there maybe a God.

Now the optimist in me says – yes this is real ! The theory is that God made mushrooms (so its natural) man ingests them, the pineal gland is activated and it allows man to get on the same “wavelength” so to speak to actually relate to God. Now the skeptic side of me is that this is all bullshit – you’re on a drug and your brain is firing abnormally or whatever. I don’t know, but I find it fascinating nevertheless. BTW, if you ever visit the Vatican, check out all the sculptured pine cones symbolizing the pineal gland which as I said is what’s affected when ingesting mushrooms. so, Whadayathink ? What do you think ?

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The Joe Rogan Podcast !!!

November 10th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

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Bar none, the greatest, most interesting, entertaining, educational, eclectic, thought – provoking radio talk show (terrestrial or satellite) is and has been for decades, The Leonard Lopate show formerly New York and Company on WNYC and NPR. There is simply not a talk show host, nor has there ever been a host for decades now that could even come remotely close in terms of the aforementioned superlatives (except for Brian Leher, Lopate’s colleague, who has his own show on WNYC from 10 am – noon, just before Leonard’s show) than the masterful  – Leonard Lopate. The only criticism some people may have about Lopate’s show , is that it is prodigiously “brainy” and yes that is awesome, but sometimes we just want to kick back and take in some good old entertainment, educational or not & take it easy; after all learning is essentially work (though I personally don’t see it as such).

However, I am not blogging about Leonard Lopate today. I am here to spread the word about a podcast that is so interesting and an absolute gem … I could listen to it all day and never, ever get bored and unlike listening to Leonard’s show – perhaps a lecture of sorts (admittedly, you do feel like you are in graduate school when you tune into Leonard). Joe Rogan (BTW, yes it is the same Joe Rogan who did that insanely dumb show ‘Fear Factor’ but obviously this is not “that Joe Rogan” – hey we all have to eat, so….) is relaxed, unpretentious, comfortable, extremely intelligent and informal as one can be (Joe curses a lot & I mean a lot) and he talks about the most interesting stuff imaginable & has great guests. Even if the guests aren’t great, Joe Rogan makes them sound great. As a matter of fact, Joe Rogan is such an awesome entertainer, he even makes the commercials fun.

For example, I just finished listening to one of the latest Joe Rogan podcasts with the lead singer of the band – Tool (incidentally a band I don’t even care about in the least), Maynard James Keenan, and I, quite frankly, can’t imagine having had been more glued, entertained, and more fun … well !!!

In a nutshell, here is a list of topics they talked about: Holy moly it’s a lot in 2 hrs. mind you:

The very weird music of Tool (BTW, it’s for the most part heavy metal music, but the lead singer is a genius – really, there is a lot of tongue in cheek & satire)

The meaning of life.

Jaguars migrating to the U.S. (yikes, how scary is that folks ???) You think a pit bull or a Wolf is frightening, just youTube a jaguar, it’s not even close.

Winemaking – I didn’t think I would enjoy this portion of the show, because I don’t drink wine, but WOW!!! What an interesting and fascinating process the making of wine is  – wow !!!

Jiu – Jitsu  & Mixed Martial Arts

The unfathomable mystery of why we become so immersed in a particular hobby.

The absolute drudgery and loneliness of being on the road & having to stay in motels/hotels if you’re a musician, comedian, entertainer, etc.  

Getting old

Getting sick

The creeps in N. Arizona, specifically in Sedona.

Sedona, AZ has more new – agey people who are into their crystals, chakras, & energy pathways than anywhere else in the country….weird!!! 

The cult hangouts in Los Angeles  

Those idiots who knocked over 100 million + yr. old rocks for s**ts & giggles …almost like knocking over Stonehenge  

Dumb people

The incredible wonderment of the desert.

  Just taking stock of the incredible rocks and weird formations out west in the desert e.g. wind and sand erosion structures that look like unimaginable forms.

Fascinating landscapes in the U.S.A.

Running out of gas in the desert (good luck – lol)

Following your bliss

Life is too short to not create with every breath you take.

Artists and motivated people.

Work ethic

Reality food shows                

The underrated sense of smell.

Evan Tanner – MMA fighter who died in the desert.

Self – discovery journeys.

Constantly testing yourself and pushing yourself to the limit.

Nature and living off the land.

Nature does not care about you – respect that !!!

The 10 – 80 – 10 rule: 10% of any given community is kind, caring, giving, and productive. 80% are mindless knuckleheads who are neither good nor bad and 10% are slime who firstly ought to be tarred and feathered and then be summarily run over by a heavy vehicle. 

Exotic meat restaurants e.g. lions, javelinas, etc.

The meanest, most conservative sheriff in the nation – Sheriff Arpaio who insists that all the county inmates wear pink underwear in order to humiliate them – lol.

Jan Brewer: The dumbest governor in the country – even stupider than our former president – George W. Bush.

Yoga

Bad movies/Good movies

Gender identity and transvestites

Stupid TV

Actors unraveling   

Art for art’s sake … doing something without any thought of being compensated.

Opiates/painkillers and the epidemic we have on our hands.

Kids and the internet.

If you live on the east coast and you’re a kid, there is nothing BETTER than a snow day …..YAY !!! NO SCHOOL – MAGICAL !!!

Being born rich is perhaps the worst curse in life.

Los Angeles is without question the most fake & unreal city in the country and perfect for movies and TV.

Psychedelic drugs e.g. peyote, mushrooms

Fasting

Zen

Physics/geometry/angles/molecules

Words

Samurai swords … the tradition, the process of manufacturing them with honor, etc.

Indigenous tribes that still exist

Soft life=soft people …answer, we must reset or reboot

The earth is a living entity.

We’re now dependent on everything either digital (0’s & 1’s) and electrical.

How about not even having a hard drive, just clouds….life in the near future is truly spooky !!!

We’re living in unfathomably strange times.

Does anything we do really mean anything in terms of the larger picture???

Microcosm vs. macrocosm ….we are all in our little universes e.g. making money, martial arts, the gun range, cooking, etc.

Seeking a higher truth from the seemingly trivial.

Vinyl records, books, etc …can we retrieve them if there is some sort of digital disaster???  

Edward Snowden – it’s so funny that we make fun of him for not having an advanced degree, yet we hear him in the news everyday & the NSA allowed him to have access to all this incredibly top – secret info.

Privacy issues.

Depth/movement/passion/uncertainty/fear  

Tattoos …who would have guessed what an incredible industry it has become now???

Japanese tattoos  

The military today.

Liberals and conservatives.


WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Joe Rogan is simply off the charts great!!! The topics I brought up are unbelievably from just one show!!!

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“We’re All Made of the Same Star Stuff” – Carl Sagan

July 17th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

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The title of this blog sounds very “New Agey” but the truth of the matter is it’s grounded and supported by hard science.  Scientists and cosmologists know a lot of things, are learning and discovering new facts about the universe every day, and can even tell you what happened 1/1000 of a second after the big bang. The one thing (I’ve blogged about this before

http://whadawethink.com/2012/09/the-question-to-which-nobody-has-the-answer/) we are clueless about is what happened or what was going on a second before the big bang. However, we don’t have to have this information to know for sure that we are all made of the same star stuff.

A man living in Yemen, a worm in your garden, a venomous snake slithering around in the Amazon jungles of Brazil, a country rat, a rock, a piece of chocolate, the planet Pluto, a star that is positioned 100 light years away from our planet earth, just absolutely everything, etc. Now some of the aforementioned things are living entities, but everything I mentioned  is indeed matter and occupies space. Another fact is that all this “stuff” came from the same source – an unspeakably and unfathomably hot and dense infinitesimally small particle which exploded 13.798 billion years ago.

This scientific fact means that dualism or the notion that there is a distinct and separate unconnected self is therefore an illusion. Everything is one and is the basic tenet of eastern philosophy and Buddhism which was established 2,550 years ago and now confirmed by science last century.

So WhaDaWeThink ? What do you think ? I did not even touch on real entities that have no matter, yet certainly exist such as gravity, dark – matter, anti – matter, love, empathy, emotions, etc.

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“Let’s Swim to the Moon”

May 29th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

“Before I slip into unconsciousness, I’d like to have another kiss … ” Jim Morrison was obsessed with death and talked, sang, and wrote about it his whole short life right up until he met his very own end on July 3, 1971 in Paris – he was only 27. Jim died peacefully in the bathtub they say of – excess, alcoholism, pneumonia, a heroin overdose (though Jim didn’t like the drug) a heart attack … nobody knows for sure. There are conspiracy theories galore and they’re all over the web including the possibility that his death was a fake (another Elvis thing) but sadly Jim Morrison did in fact die and the sad truth is that those who knew him well were not in the least bit surprised; Jim was coughing and throwing  up blood months before and why there was no autopsy and more importantly why his loved ones didn’t help him get some sort of medical attention is a mystery. Nevertheless, Jim and the Doors died in 1971 despite 2 of the remaining band members – Ray Manzarek  (Magdalena wrote an obit. A couple of weeks ago regarding his death) and Robby Krieger tried to revive The Doors with Stewart Copeland as drummer and well …that’s another story.
Since Magdalena’s blog about the death of the amazing keyboardist/bassist Ray Manzarek, I’ve not been able to pull myself away from listening, reading , and researching all about this incredibly original rock band who not only were way before their time but explored death, chaos, edge, uncertainty, revolution, etc. like no other group before – as some people would say, they were the Yang of Yin, the Beatles talked and sang about love and The Doors threw in our face Vietnam and darkness.

Certainly for me, at the age of 49, there are better, more educated writers who can quench my existential thirst, but The Doors were special – no doubt about it. The members of the band were educated and thoughtful; they actually named the group after Aldous Huxley’s ‘Doors Of Perception’ and were heavily influenced by the poet William Blake and the beat writers: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, etc. and Jim read all of Nietzsche’s work. I liked what critic, Henry Collins, had to say about the singing of Jim Morrison – his voice was controlled, rich, masculine, almost balladeer (believe it or not, Jim loved the crooners i.e. Frank Sinatra) and then that tenderness would morph into this wild, feral and ferocious animal!!!
The band really began with a chance encounter with Ray Mancerek and Jim Morrison meeting at UCLA film school – both were never really that serious about EVER becoming rock stars (Jim always wanted to be a poet and Ray contemplated practicing law) but as we all know… the rest is history.
Well, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Are/were you a Doors fan? What I enjoyed the most was Morrison’s improvisational style; you never knew what he would do next, he was a dangerous, scary, exciting Adonis. The band was also not your three chord, typical boogie back then, the music was jazzy, bluesy and simultaneously beautiful and very odd.

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Do We Survive Our Death or Is there Life After The End of Life ???

March 26th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

Or how about – “After I have finished eaten my ice cream cone, is there anymore ice cream left to be eaten?” These questions seem absurd, for the answers to which are built right into the questions itself. “After the game is over, what happens in the game?”

Nevertheless, we conscious, sentient, self – reflecting human beings have been asking whether or not there is life after death since time immemorial; in fact, the notion of whether there is life after the end of life is considered to be one of the greatest mysteries of all time. Yet, if you ponder the question, and for not all that long, the answer has got to be NO. Or is it ???

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? This is an example of a Zen koan.

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Quote from Lao Tzu

October 9th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

Lao Tzu, circa 5tth B.C.E.

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Mindfulness: The Art of Living Well

December 5th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

I have been a student of eastern philosophy for more than three decades and I am delighted to see that the practice of Mindfulness is very much in vogue today. One doesn’t even have to concern oneself with the historicity of Mindfulness nor even be remotely interested in Buddhism out of which this very simple, though at the same time very difficult and yet prodigiously effective practice sprung. As a matter of fact many psychiatrists and psychologists have recommended Mindfulness to their patients as a way of reducing stress, anxiety, and dealing with depression.
Many people have stated that Mindfulness has dramatically changed his or her life for the better; whether it is practiced by someone who suffers from some anxiety and mild depression to very serious psychiatric afflictions such as paranoid schizophrenia. (Last week The New York Times profiled a man who was diagnosed with having schizophrenia but was able to cope and function as a productive solid citizen, he is currently employed full time as a computer programmer, with the aid of medication and the daily practice of mindfulness.)
So what is Mindfulness? Is this something for you? Can you incorporate this sort of practice into your life and busy schedule? The answer to all three of these questions is a resounding yes. Mindfulness in a sense is a form of mediation, one doesn’t have to set aside a half – hour or more and sit in the lotus position counting one’s breath. Mindfulness is actually a way of life and a new way of looking at the world. Ideally, a person ought to be mindful every waking moment. The best definition for mindfulness is simply (it’s actually very hard) bringing your attention to the present and paying careful attention purposely and in a particular way to the present moment; the particular way is to be nonjudgmental and to except what is true and real without any pre-conceived notions or delusions. This is the reason a Zen Buddhist very often refers to this “state of mind” as Beginner’s mind or experiencing life as if for the very first time. One can be an eighty-year-old man with a lifetime of experiences and memories and still live almost child-like in terms of being curious, open, and accepting what you perceive to be the absolute truth – life is exactly what it appears to be, nothing less and nothing more.
Although Buddhism has been around for 2500 years, the concept and idea of cherry – picking, so to speak , the utilitarian down-to-earth nuts and bolts aspects of how to live a good life without adhering to and embracing the philosophy and religion of Buddhism, was put forth by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn who founded the Minfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts to treat the chronically ill. This was a hugely successful and clearly effective way of maintaining good health physically, emotionally, psychologically, and even spiritually combining western medicine and the eternal truths from the East (from the East but they’re truths that are eternal and universal) about the human condition.
So tomorrow morning when you have your morning cup of coffee, experiment with mindfulness. Drinking coffee or tea is a good way of beginning your Mindfulness training. There are actually scores of books written about Zen and not only drinking tea but also the preparation involved which is sort of a ritual for many Easterners. (Now Westerners too, thanks to the proliferation of Zen and Mindfulness). Say to yourself, “This is the beginning of a new and wonderful day; this particular day has never happened before and never will happen again. Be mindful of this and be grateful. Smell the aroma of the coffee before taking your first sip, feel the porcelain touch your lips, take note of the weight of the cup, let all of your senses open up, and come to life. Nothing else matters at this particular moment and time but you and your cup of coffee. Be at peace and be totally present. If a thought, worry or concern crops up do not dismiss it, simply acknowledge it, accept it and gently bring yourself back to drinking your coffee or tea. Thoughts, feelings, awareness of your surroundings is all normal, the key is to be in the present and greet each feeling and sensation with curiosity, openness, total acceptance and feel the connection and relationship you have with your cup of coffee and ultimately with everything that exists and is in the universes. Yes, life is good and for these few minutes, there is nothing but this. You’re as close to the truth as the Dali Lama is as he meditates to greet the morning. “
So WhaDaYaThink ? What Do You Think ? This seems like a very simple exercise in Mindfulness but I can assure you, invariably a multitude of unwanted thoughts will permeate you being – just let them come and go, eventually you will be the master of your thoughts and you will be more peaceful, more at rest and yet more alive than ever. Peace on Earth.

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