Here we are in picturesque St. Albans, UK - a pleasant little town - population 6,000 - with a 3,000-year history and situated less than an hour from the very center of London.
St. Albans has Roman ruins (from when the British isles were a [conquered and occupied] part of the Roman empire) as well as litter from KFC (the current global empire which has conquered, and is occupying, most of the charted world).
The town was named Verlamion in Iron Age Britain (around 800 BC) when religious practices centered around human sacrifice and animal slaughter to mollify the many local deities and nature spirits. Because they weren’t that easily mollified, these deities eventually migrated eastward, and of course, as everyone knows, became the French. This is corroborated by all the arrogance, irritating smugness, extreme obnoxiousness and particularly pungent body odor that scientists associate with demoted deities and spirits, once they become overly fashion-conscious and cheese-obsessed.
The Romans renamed the town Verulamium, which means “You will hold your nose in times to be, when they are French” (although some archaeologists argue that the more accurate translation is “I’m not glad to see you, it’s just a fresh baguette”).
The Romans always insisted on renaming all of their conquered regions - which is how New Mexico, New Jersey, New Orleans, New Zealand, New Delhi, New Jack City and Newt Gingrich - all got their names.
Aden and I really quite like it here. As far as towns go, St. Albans is a special place. There are literally 200 phenomenally excellent, world-class restaurants and cafes. There are cathedrals dating from the 11th century and numerous buildings constructed during the reign of Henry Vlll and the lifetime of Shakespeare. There’s plenty of open space, greenery, variety, and all the amenities of urban life - and all within easy walking distance. And the people are friendly (I mean, of course, for Brits, that is).
The town’s namesake, St. Alban, is Britain’s first Christian martyr. He lived in the 3rd century (based on some of his earliest tweets). Reportedly he had only just heard of Christianity and learned its basic tenets, when he decided to convert. As being a Christian was still illegal, he was immediately arrested; and when he refused to endorse the Romano-British religion he had practiced his whole life up until that week, he was speedily beheaded. Christians still honor him today for his courage and fidelity - but it seems to me he may more rightly be the patron saint of stubbornness, inflexibility and exceedingly short-term thinking.
Be that as it may, Aden and I have both genuinely fallen in love with this special little town, that offers so much more than most. We’re really glad we came, even though we may well be the only visitors with no interest in setting foot in any of its 102 pubs.
St. Albans just works for us. India’s just become too difficult, for too many reasons (to our dismay), and our beloved village in the Fiji rainforest is just too bumpy to get to, for my poor old body - now that it’s coming into its 8th decade (which is also why I can never go horseback riding again).
But St. Albans is just right. Cheers, mate.
Representatives of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Transcendental Meditation International Organization have contacted I-CODA by letter, expressing fear that the public might somehow confuse I-CODA’s meditations with Transcendental Meditation known as “TM” (if you’re interested, you can see the complete actual letter in the attached pdf).
First of all: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Second, as everyone who knows us well, knows well: we honor and revere the wonderful guru and world teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Jai! Jai! Jai! Maharishi Mahesh Yogi! Jai Maharishi Mahesh Yogi! You are a light to the whole world!
So of course we are thrilled, pleased and honored to be contacted by any branch or representative of his organization. Any contact from any representative of the Master, is a contact from the Master. And any contact from the Master (even one that is delusional, misguided, and intended solely to threaten or intimidate) is (nevertheless) still a blessing, and most welcome (simply because it is a contact from the Master! If you genuinely love and honor and recognize the Master for who he truly is [God], the content becomes immaterial). He is not my Master, he is not our Master, but we love, honor and recognize this dear, sweet man as one of the great Masters of the world. He brought spirituality to millions, and is one of only a handful of greats who opened the gates of genuine spirituality to the West - an incalculable contribution.
He is not our Master, but we have no problem and no hesitation calling him Master, calling him beloved Master, calling him our beloved Master (even though he is not our Master). Because such a one as he, is Master to everyone, and we happily, readily, greedily, bow at his feet. We run to bow at his flower-petalled feet. Further, we challenge his attorneys, and any who represent this great one in any way, to bow low to him, to revere his holy memory, and to represent him rightly and properly: in the spirit of Divine love, fellowship, acceptance and friendship which he represented, promoted and taught. In his great name, we ask you to no longer sully his precious memory, by in his great name, promulgating the ways of competition and intimidation - which are themselves the ways of war and hate. These are not the ways of the flower power guru, the love guru, this grand and great mahaguru.
Again we thank you for your letter, as it contains Maharishi’s blessing. Also, we would like you to know that we reject your worldly threats and attempts to intimidate. We are not afraid of you; actually, we pity you. And we laughed long and hard at your ridiculous conclusion/accusation that we are trying to steal TM for our own gain. LOL!!! I-CODA does not even currently have a meditation program, and hasn’t for years! Even more to the point, I discourage and frequently criticize the practice of TM. Although I support it in theory, I cannot recommend it in practice, as I believe there are far more effective and useful methods for Westerners. The most effective and powerful I have ever witnessed and experienced are I-CODA’s, which do not even remotely resemble TM.
All of I-CODA’s hundreds of methods and practices for spiritualization and for reaching the transcendental, whether meditative or devotional, are 100% original, unique, and created by me. I borrow from no one, I copy no one, and I resemble no one else. This is because (just as beloved Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) I am a devotee of the Lord, and commanded by him to serve others in my own original way. I couldn’t copy someone else even if I wanted to - it wouldn’t be allowed. But I don’t need to. God made me wildly creative in every way and utterly original whether I want to be or not. As Guru, this one operates as God in the lives of those who God brings to me. So to paraphrase the iconic line from the classic movie: “I don’t need your stinkin’ methods”.
Anyway, back to the main point, i.e., my message to the TM junior attorneys who authored this letter: as a Divinely-appointed God representative, and in the holy name of our beloved Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, I publicly rebuke you for your needlessly unloving ways, and more pointedly, for your promulgation of extreme capitalist greed, hate speech, and intentions to be a source of fear and harm to others (IMHO, of course).
This is not Maharishi’s way.
If you would like to save your souls in this lifetime, I am happy to offer you a powerful antidote: Maharishi’s own methods, practices, teachings, and Divine love. Watch his videos, and you will see his Divine love with your own eyes. It’s for you. Get imbued by him, and learn his ways of love. Let him transform you. Let him take you to the transcendental. Because you are so close to him (a representative, even if far away in their heart, is nevertheless close), I strongly recommend TM for you. Practice sincerely and fervently, and Maharishi will deliver you to love and bring you to genuine salvation.
On behalf of Maharishi, I say to you:
Let love be victorious.
P.S. Prediction: Swami predicts that this blog will evoke a hostile, attacking, threatening response from Mssrs. Shuttleworth & Ingersoll (and that response will be even more ridiculous and hilarious than their first letter!). You watch; it’ll be really something. They will make sure that all of you can clearly see what the ways of hate look like, i.e., they will unmask themselves completely. And as always, we will use it as a teaching tool, to show you how the ways of the world must be rejected, in favor of the spiritual way. You must transcend this world, simply because its ways are insane. You must choose sanity, if you want God, Truth, Reality, or whatever is the right word for you. This is the real meaning of the word “transcendental." It means ‘the love level.'
‘TRYING TO BE CONSISTENT’ IS A WACKY IDEA (Mainly because there's an astronaut in your kitchen)
I frequently tell you that everything is actually quite simple. And just as often, I tell you that we human beings are much more complex than we tend to truly realize. Are these two statements antithetical? Yes. Are they both true? Yes.
And in fact, many antithetical things live in you. We are full of antitheses, polarities, non-consistent actualities. But it's only at the level of language, that things seem inconsistent, appear somehow to be in opposition to each other. This is "duality" itself.
But Reality is non-dual; it's the whole, all together. Only on levels that are beyond all language, can Reality be apprehended. In actual Reality, opposites exist together with no problem. Black and white can live in the same space. Up and down can occupy the same space - right and left at the same time - no problem - no "inconsistency". What seems to us inconsistent, is just us not grasping it from a wide enough perspective. Inconsistency is the mind's idea, the ego's preference.
If you're looking for consistency, you'll never find it. But of course, if you narrow down your view, you'll believe you're seeing consistency. Nevertheless, anything that's alive, is not consistent - can't be 'consistent' in any way. Consistency is found only in the graveyard. Living processes don't require consistency; they require consciousness. Yet typically people truly expect a certain coherence, the appearance of consistency. A + B = C. Reality has no requirement that A + B equal C.
Reality doesn't care about the human mind's formulas and expectations. Nothing is required to add up. Nothing absolutely must compute. Computing is for computers, not living beings. To really understand people and how we're put together, looking for consistency is not the proper approach. This is just trying to know Reality through ideas. Reality doesn't care about your ideas. Reality, Eternity, Infinity, Truth, God - have no trouble with inconsistency - are not requiring 2 + 2 to equal 4. It's only the human ego, the limited (dualistic) mind - we ordinary folks busily running around with our little personalities, who insist that things have to 'make sense'.
This doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with making sense - with ideas or concepts or insights - not at all. None of it presents any actual problem; it's all fine (from the greater perspective). But true knowing, direct experiencing, is an entirely different level - does not depend on the internal consistency of ideas or the demonstration of 'logic'. Those are irrational requests, not at all valid demands. They're just ego ideas.
In fact, if you don't know something "directly", if you don't have your own direct experiencing, it can't be anything other than a concept. It's somebody else's idea of truth, of reality, of what life is all about. But when it's your experience, and therefore you can start to experience beyond yourself, only then are you an actual space traveler. Then you're moving into the universe in a wider way. Then you can start to feel Eternity, see something of Infinity. Isn't it obvious that (simply by definition) Earth is a space ship? It's a hunk of matter, moving around in space! That's an inarguable fact. But isn't that also the most basic definition of a "space ship"? You think you're standing in your kitchen, at the sink, washing the dishes - but actually, you're an astronaut, floating around in space! It's just plain obvious enough, isn't it?
So my suggestion is that you abandon the dishwasher conditioning and see the actuality: an astronaut is washing the dishes, and the kitchen sink is orbiting the Sun. Get rid of the silly beliefs that the materialist approach insists on, and open your mind to the actual facts. Be willing to be astounded, astonished. And there's nothing astounding about consistency. Let go of your conditioned insistence on the 'realness' of everyday "reality" - and be open to actual Reality. That Reality, leads to Truth, to God, to the non-duality of Existence itself.
~ Swami Premodaya
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