2008.12.22 01:00 – The Crusty Path

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    Gaya was the guardian on call for this session and comments are hers. Crusty and Hana arrives. Crusty mentions a film that sounds interesting so I add it onto my DVD rental list.

    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
     Crusty Goldshark: hi
    Gaya Ethaniel: How are you this morning Crusty?
    Crusty Goldshark: OK just watched the film 'Baraka' - have you seen it?
    Gaya Ethaniel: no
    Gaya Ethaniel googles
    Crusty Goldshark: how r u?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm well thank you ^^
    Crusty Goldshark: :)
    Crusty Goldshark: done your xmas shopping?
    Gaya Ethaniel: The film looks very interesting thanks for letting me know Crusty
    Crusty Goldshark: you are welcome
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes mostly done online ^^ yourself?
    Hana Hendrassen: hiya :D
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hey Hana ^^
    Crusty Goldshark: Hi Hana - more xmas shopping today and some food tomorrow

    Crusty starts sharing his ‘path’ with us. [mm… forgot to mention that Hana is looking lovely with her lavender poncho ^^]

    Gaya Ethaniel: Crusty do you follow a particular religion?
    Hana Hendrassen: fun beans... I get to bake later today
    Gaya Ethaniel: What's 'fun beans'?
    Crusty Goldshark: all of them . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah all of them ^^
    Hana Hendrassen: oh just an expression... like "oh that's fun"
    Gaya Ethaniel: Any favourite?
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah... ^^
    Crusty Goldshark: I like some Sufi ideas devoid of Islam and Taoism
    Gaya Ethaniel: I don't know much about that... could you say more?
    Crusty Goldshark: Sufism?
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
    Hana Hendrassen listens as she doesn't know much about it either...
    Crusty Goldshark: The mystics of Sufism have been associated with a 'cult' of Love which they expressed in poetry, dance and work
    Crusty Goldshark: They have ranged from the worlds fav poet (Rumi) to pious Clerics deeply involved in Islamic culture and religion.
    Hana Hendrassen: ah Rumi...
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Crusty Goldshark: There are two major states for the Sufi - Ecstatic (losing oneself in different stages of God intoxication) and sobriety - which is more sombre and considered more advanced allowing integration with the world . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^^
    Crusty Goldshark: Work = worship
    Crusty Goldshark: Common practices are the reciting of the names of Allah to manifest one of the 99 attributes - I only use the 100th name which is traditionally only known by camels . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: Could you say more about 'intoxication' and 'sobriety'?
    Gaya Ethaniel wonders whether to ponder or giggle at ‘known by camels'...
    Hana Hendrassen: yes me too
    Crusty Goldshark: Sure - intoxication is similar to Grace in Christianity or experiences of Bliss which come from Hindu or Buddhist techniques
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Gaya Ethaniel: It is a good foundation imo...
    Crusty Goldshark: In the ecstatic state one may identify first by losing oneself in the Sheikh (similar to the Guru)
    Crusty Goldshark: . . . then one start to lose and identify with Godlike qualities - one has to overcome aspects of the ego in order to do this and a path is normally prescribed by the Sheikh
    Hana Hendrassen: would intoxication really be the best word for it?
    Gaya Ethaniel: What are those qualities?
    Crusty Goldshark: Sobriety is the ability to contain the Godlike qualities within a normal exterior . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel shakes her head... perhaps not
    Hana Hendrassen: I wouldn't think so either... because intoxication implies toxicity
    Crusty Goldshark: The qualities are based on the attributes of God, joy, majesty and so on
    Gaya Ethaniel: In a way it can be 'toxic' if indulging in that state perhaps
    Hana Hendrassen: maybe
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok Crusty
    Hana Hendrassen nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: Does one get to choose a particular Sheikh or there is only one?
    Crusty Goldshark: Joy is not a toxic condition - it is a partial attribute - the toxicity comes from ones own being which is linked to the body and its instincts and drives . . .
    Crusty Goldshark: In some traditions the Sheikh chooses you - most people are not really worthy of the attention of a Sheikh - who has better things then aindulge all half hearted 'seekers'
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah... it's like 'teacher'
    Crusty Goldshark: It is like a Friend of God - yes like a teacher - but many Sufis do not teach in a way that people understand or recognise
    Gaya Ethaniel: Gets more and more intruiging... how do they teach?
    Crusty Goldshark: Some teach by gesture and performing alongside humanity, crafts and so on - many ways
    Crusty Goldshark: Some are very formal and teach a set course, with iniations and such like . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Do you have a Sheikh?
    Crusty Goldshark: Some never even mention spirituality at all . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Crusty Goldshark: No - I am not fit to have a sheikh
    Gaya Ethaniel: Why not?
    Crusty Goldshark: Too arrogant and unwilling to submit to authority
    Crusty Goldshark: I had a teacher but he did not belong to a tradition and did not teach in a way most people would recognise
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Crusty Goldshark: Also it would be very difficult to describe what happened as 'teaching' - it is rather like being in the 'presence'
    Gaya Ethaniel: You mentioned something similar before
    Gaya Ethaniel: Can you say more on that? What you mean by 'presence'
    Crusty Goldshark: A 'Hazrat' or presence is someone who has a particular capacity to speak directly to a persons heart - if a person is unready for this or can not perceive the worth of a person, this may go completely unnoticed
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ^^ I get that
    Crusty Goldshark: If you are touched by good company then in a sense you will the presence
    Crusty Goldshark: . .. . into being . .
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Gaya Ethaniel: How does PaB fit into your practice Crusty?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Have you found some good companies here?
    Crusty Goldshark: If we take this fountain as a metaphor - we are sitting in the preence of whter and may be calmed and touched by it - for others it has no reality . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel ponders
    Crusty Goldshark: I very much like the people I have met here
    Gaya Ethaniel: Why?
    Crusty Goldshark: water
    Crusty Goldshark: Because they are willing to listen and sit around a fountain. They are also willing to share - this is the basis of spiritual companionship - if people are not prepared to listen - sometimes to their own hearts then they are still in the stage of waiting in the spiritual waiting room . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel nods. Many good listeners here yes ^^

    Hana and I share a little too [seems either I met Crusty in RL or he is guessing from my blog]. Sufism and Christianity ^^

    Crusty Goldshark: Now you might tell me of your paths?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I am rather tentative in sharing but...
    Gaya Ethaniel: In a way similar to you Crusty, open to all
    Gaya Ethaniel: But I do follow a particular teacher who is Buddhist
    Gaya Ethaniel: [I know a little about Buddhism only though]
    Crusty Goldshark: Which tradition?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Theravadan
    Crusty Goldshark: Ah OK _ I have stayed with them - the Thai Forest monks in the UK
    Gaya Ethaniel: O.O How did you know the particular school I follow?
    Crusty Goldshark: How about you Hana?
    Crusty Goldshark: Co-incidence
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles ok
    Hana Hendrassen: I'm a Christian, but also open to different traditions
    Crusty Goldshark: What sort of Christian?
    Hana Hendrassen: hmm non-denominational
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Hana Hendrassen: I don't belong to a particular church at this point
    Crusty Goldshark: LOL - The Sufis are often thought of as 'Secret Christians' as they have quite a deep interpretation of Christianity . . .
    Hana Hendrassen: oh?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Worship love ^^
    Hana Hendrassen: true
    Crusty Goldshark: Well on the simplest level, Christ is seen as indicative of an internal God like State and we can aspire to 'increse in Love' (through devotion to any Ideal)
    Hana Hendrassen nods
    Crusty Goldshark: :)
    Hana Hendrassen: sounds very much like Christianity on the simplest level
    Hana Hendrassen: though it seems that dogma tends to pile on top of it for some...
    Crusty Goldshark: It does not matter what you Love as long as you increase this capacity - it is the basis of all evolvement (in most paths) In Theravadin Buddhism compassion is seen as something that comes from enlightenment - in other paths it is cultivated earlier . . .
    Hana Hendrassen: ah ok
    Gaya Ethaniel: mm... not sure if it comes with enlightenment
    Gaya Ethaniel: It's something to be cultivated by constant practice... for me
    Crusty Goldshark: yes indeed
    Gaya Ethaniel: [as well as understanding/seeing how it is]
    Gaya Ethaniel: No need to wait for the lightening :P

    We wish Hana good night.

    Hana Hendrassen: I apologize, I must head to bed... it's really late for me
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good rest Hana ^^ see you soon.
    Crusty Goldshark: Bye Hana - sleep well :)
    Hana Hendrassen: yep, thank you both :) have a good day/night
    Gaya Ethaniel: Are you also interested in Christianity Crusty?
    Crusty Goldshark: Not that much - just because it is around me - in Churches and culture
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Crusty Goldshark: I intend to go to Midnight Mass if I can . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: On New Year's eve?
    Crusty Goldshark: Christmas Eve
    Gaya Ethaniel: oops that's what I meant heheheh
    Crusty Goldshark: Have to see whatis availble
    Gaya Ethaniel: The main one in Westerminster is wonderful
    Crusty Goldshark: That sounds like fun - never been to that one - last time I went I thought it an impressive building :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Beautiful occassion, highly recommended ^^
    Crusty Goldshark: I will probably head for a smaler orthodox charch . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles. Sounds good too
    Gaya Ethaniel: Never been inside one yet
    Crusty Goldshark: More ornate than Catholic Churches and infused with frankinsence
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sounds lovely. I visited St Catherine's in SL
    Gaya Ethaniel: It was great. Apparently the owner can't afford to keep it...
    Crusty Goldshark: Yes I may have visited that (did visit a SL Church)
    Gaya Ethaniel: In case I give you lm ^^
    Crusty Goldshark: Ah no this is something else - many thanks
    Gaya Ethaniel: Pleasure
    Crusty Goldshark: See if you can find any Sufis in SL - they will keep you amused for a while . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^^ you are the first one so far
    Gaya Ethaniel: Have you met any?
    Crusty Goldshark: One or two - not in SL - not looked yet . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok very exotic Sufis it seems
    Crusty Goldshark: You find what you look for . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: That's true ^^
    Crusty Goldshark: Soetimes it finds you . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: That too, which was the way with me
    Crusty Goldshark: That's good
    Gaya Ethaniel: Which monasteries did you stay at [Forest]?
    Crusty Goldshark: Amravarti
    Gaya Ethaniel: Did you enjoy?
    Crusty Goldshark: No
    Crusty Goldshark: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: oh sorry to hear it...
    Crusty Goldshark: LOL - I was more impressed with the Nuns - who were into Rumi at the time and interestingly were in advance of the monks - but sadly the environment is not conducive or even recommended to befriend a nun (as a man)
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: Though I have no problem befriending monks...
    Crusty Goldshark: I also went to Chithurst for a couple of day trips
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ^^

    To be continued… ^^

    Gaya Ethaniel: You are very interested in 'spirituality' it seems... how did it all start?
    Crusty Goldshark: well that is a story for another day . . . time for me to wish you well
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good day to you Crusty and see you soon again ^^
    Crusty Goldshark: CU later . .

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