The Art of Maya

The Hindu word “maya” is often used in spiritual-speak to mean that which we experience as reality is ultimately an illusion.  Interestingly, not only does maya mean illusion, it also means art.

Life is art!

If reality is nothing more and nothing less than art, it is art you and only you create.  This implies that our lives are our deepest and most meaningful expression of our being, not just some ethereal dream we just happen to be having.  Each one of us is the artist.  Each breath is a brush stroke.  Every thought, every emotion is a color choice.  The depth of our innate talent is as great as our awareness is of our being.  Mindfulness is our muse.

Here’s the amazing thing:  Because Now is and always shall be your moment of inspiration, your moment of creation, the canvas is always clean and waiting for the next brush stroke.

What kind of masterpiece are you painting?

The Jainist View Against Creationism

My husband and I were doing some reading tonight and ran across this brief discourse on why Jains do not believe in creationism.  I like to consider various views and I found this very interesting.  Definitely points to ponder.  Enjoy.

The most eloquent refutation of this (creationist) view is provided by Ācārya Jinasena in Mahāpurāna as thus –

Some foolish men declare that creator made the world. The doctrine that the world was created is ill advised and should be rejected.

If God created the world, where was he before the creation? If you say he was transcendent then and needed no support, where is he now?

How could God have made this world without any raw material? If you say that he made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression.

If you declare that this raw material arose naturally you fall into another fallacy, For the whole universe might thus have been its own creator, and have arisen quite naturally.

If God created the world by an act of his own will, without any raw material, then it is just his will and nothing else — and who will believe this silly nonsense?

If he is ever perfect and complete, how could the will to create have arisen in him? If, on the other hand, he is not perfect, he could no more create the universe than a potter could.

If he is form-less, action-less and all-embracing, how could he have created the world? Such a soul, devoid of all modality, would have no desire to create anything.

If he is perfect, he does not strive for the three aims of man, so what advantage would he gain by creating the universe?

If you say that he created to no purpose because it was his nature to do so, then God is pointless. If he created in some kind of sport, it was the sport of a foolish child, leading to trouble.

If he created because of the karma of embodied beings [acquired in a previous creation] He is not the Almighty Lord, but subordinate to something else

If out of love for living beings and need of them he made the world, why did he not make creation wholly blissful free from misfortune?

If he were transcendent he would not create, for he would be free: Nor if involved in transmigration, for then he would not be almighty. Thus the doctrine that the world was created by God makes no sense at all,

And God commits great sin in slaying the children whom he himself created. If you say that he slays only to destroy evil beings, why did he create such beings in the first place?

Good men should combat the believer in divine creation, maddened by an evil doctrine. Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without beginning or end, and is based on the principles, life and rest. Uncreated and indestructible, it endures under the compulsion of its own nature.

Via Wikipedia

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

by Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.


Tonight, November 13, is the Diwali Festival.

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is the Hindu festival of light.  It is through the light that the beauty of this world is revealed and in celebration colored lights, little clay lamps filled with ghee, lanterns and candles are lit.  To Hindus, darkness represents ignorance and light the representation of knowledge.  On this night, the lighting of the lamps signifies the conquering of ignorance through knowledge.  Brilliant fireworks light up the sky well into the wee hours of the morning.  Families gather to share good food and cheer and to give gratitude for all that is good in their lives.

So, happy Diwali to you and yours from India.  May you always walk in the light, experience the beauty that it reveals, and leave the darkness behind you.


The Root of All Evils

I saw a question the other day, one I’ve asked myself many times but laughed off as frivolous and impossible.  This time I considered it a little more seriously.  Perhaps I’m at a point in my life, tired with the old time-worn ways of the world, where hope is whispering “dare to dream it.”  All change begins as a dream and so many are crying out for it.  The questions was:

If you could create a society, how would you want it to be?

My answer has become an almost constant string of thoughts.  It walks beside me everywhere I go.  The more the image of this “better place” solidifies the wider my eyes are opening to the world around me and how systems are not supporting the people adequately.  Not like they could.

Humanity is gifted with the brilliance of an intellect that can constantly invent to solve its problems, yet those problems persist.  Humanity is also gifted with an endless reservoir of compassion but something is limiting the reaches of it to solve real problems like hunger, disease and poverty.

It was when I hit on the last point, poverty, that I had a realization.  Money.  That word drops like the heaviest stone.  Ponder what it evokes in you a moment.  There is an immediate tension.  If you have enough, the thought follows “what if one day, I don’t have enough?”  If you are wealthy, there’s the thought “how can I protect it?”  If you are greedy, there is the thought “how can I gain more?”  If you don’t have enough, there’s the thought “how can I get more?’  And if you have none, and the most telling tale of all, the question is “how can I survive?”

Our bounty of resources combined with our ingenuity should have been able to eradicate these woes long ago.  Yet humanity still suffers.  Why?  The only answer I can find is that those who hold the money in this world don’t want it to end.  Those who hold the money are clouded by their own fear or greed to risk their own.  Or, almost too insidious to ponder, they don’t want to solve the problems because the problems are what they rely on to control and garner more wealth.  Quite simply put, they require the suffering.

It enslaves, it divides and it corrupts.  It is wholly and completely unnatural.  It’s an idea forged into coin and paper, and these days it’s just a figure that is increased, decreased or moved digitally and never seen or touched.  But we have become completely enslaved to it.  The more I think about this, the more absurd it becomes.  We are the slaves of an idea.  That idea has more power over humanity than belief in a god.  You can question a god but don’t dare question money.

So, in my ideal society, I would love to see currency abolished.  I don’t want the concepts of debt, credit or futures to even exist.  A society of humanity that is run by compassion provides for those who need.  Those who have trade with those who have what they have not.  Those who have bounty see that those who don’t, receive it.  Resources would be cared for more responsibly because the realization this and only this sustains us wouldn’t be clouded by thoughts of buying a fix from someone else.  Humanity would be in the hands of humanity to care for itself.

I realize this sounds impossible.  I can hear the echoes of the old me in there laughing.  But that laughter is the sound of my own illness and enslavement.  It’s not impossible.  The only constant in this world is change so I will continue to dream my ideal society and let it grow inside of me.  I followed the root to the problem.  I invite anyone to research and explore it.  If enough people realize with open eyes the root of the problem then change in inevitable.  All of this suffering in the world is rooted in nothing more than an IDEA.  The reaches of the illnesses money has created in humanity would take generations to heal but I will continue to dream one day it will be done.

Read more on the history of currency here.


Jeff Lieberman on Science and Spirituality

I really enjoyed this video.  Jeff delivers an impressive no-nonsense explanation for spiritual enlightenment and who we are from a more intellectual and scientific approach.

Per TEDxCambridge:

Jeff Lieberman, an MIT-trained artist, scientist and engineer, makes a scientific argument for mystical experience. He asks us to challenge our perception of what we are, our relationship to the universe, and our relationship to one another. Our minds are “thought-generating machines.” What we would happen if we could turn off the machine? If we could transcend our individual experience of the world?

This talk was transcribed by Brad Miele. Transcript here:


Discovered on amysphoenix on Tumblr.

A Different Way to Shop for the Holidays

Sunlight on Fresh Snow, Wasatch Mt. Range, UT
by Kyle Krause

I saw this posted on Facebook and I think it’s a wonderful idea so I want to share it here.  As you plan and do your holiday shopping this year, why not purchase from local small businesses, artisans, craftspeople, self-publishers and the self employed?  Put a little of the economy back into the hands of someone other than big business for change.  These are people who are committed to their trade and put a lot of heart and soul into what they do.  What a wonderful way to give a gift that benefits everyone!

The Mystical Path

An American doctor, Stuart Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology and the Director of the Centre of Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, and a British physicist, Sir Roger Penrose, have proposed a ground-breaking quantum theory of consciousness. Their theory advances the concept that “the essence of our soul is contained inside structures called microtubules within brain cells.”

    They have argued that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in these microtubules, a theory which they dubbed orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR).

    Thus it is held that our souls are more than the interaction of neurons in the brain. They are in fact constructed from the very fabric of the universe – and may have existed since the beginning of time.

    The concept is similar to the Buddhist and Hindu belief that consciousness is an integral part of the…

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