The Silent Questions

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Re: The Silent Questions

Postby Vidyanet on Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:33 pm

The last paragraph on the wikipedia link was interesting to me:

Within the larger context of the story of the journey of the birds, Attar masterfully tells the reader many didactic short, sweet stories in captivating poetic style. Eventually only thirty birds remain as they finally arrive in the land of Simorgh — all they see there are each other and the reflection of the thirty birds in a lake — not the mythical Simorgh. It is the Sufi doctrine that God is not external or separate from the universe, rather is the totality of existence. The thirty birds seeking the Simorgh realise that Simorgh is nothing more than their transcendent totality. The idea of God within is an idea intrinsic to most interpretations of Sufism dating back to the roots of Islam and can be found throughout the Qu'ran. As the birds realize the truth, they now reach the station of Baqa (Subsistence) which sits atop the Mountain Qaf.

There was a link "Simorgh" on that wikipedia page. It goes to another page, where a bunch of history about the word and the history of the legend appears.

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Re: The Silent Questions

Postby Vidyanet on Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:32 am

In the posts in this thread, there is mention of the issue that answers may indeed block us from seeing the horizon where lay new answers and new questions. And there is the question of how to keep it all fresh.

Reading through this thread I came across that quote (by Jerry C.) and found it a good summary for one recurrent theme.

Often - with my own research on various subjects - I come across so many answers. Especially when reading books, listening to discussions and searching the Internet. It reminds me about the time Dorothy walked up to the door of The Emerald City and inquired about The Wizard of Oz.

From the very beginning Dorothy was searching. All along the way she put questions to the people (characters) she met. She kept on following the road, inviting friends along the way.

In the end of the story Dorothy wakes up, as if from a dream. The experiences she had (whether "real" or not) had a transformational effect on her life. The way that she saw her family, friends and neighbors. The way she saw herself!

It wasn't a passive journey that Dorothy had, but she interacted - at times even questioning the images from her experience.

Over the past so many years I found adventure after adventure exploring - like Dorothy - all around the landscape to my own experiences. Not unusually, I learned much from my own "quest-ions".

An example of questioning characters was recently illustrated on this thread concerning my exploration of bird myths. Like so many other subjects looked at before, I didn't stop at the given answers. Instead I continued to consider and contemplate everything. Not only what others had said, but what I, too, found myself to be true.

This is still a subject of interest for me - bird myths. I'm finding something more to the journey from interacting
with other points of view and how they tie together.

Has anybody else researched the subject of bird myths? I'm particularly curious about incidents where birds came in contact with people. Especially incidents where birds reportedly descended on Kings and religious figures. How such encounters changed the lives of those affected.

What were the "birds" a symbol for? Has anybody ever questioned this? What were some of the findings?

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Re: The Silent Questions

Postby Vidyanet on Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:33 pm

This is not necessarily a reply to the previous post, but I'm putting it here in "The Silent Questions" section on account of the subject matter. It has to do with silent questions.

Over five years ago I bought a car. One where some super genius of an engineer (not really) designed a dipstick with a plastic handle and threads. What do you suppose happened to those threads after subjected to repeated temperatures of hot and cold over the years? They broke away! Little by little they broke away! Actually, I saved some of them the trouble (and broke em off myself) so that I would no longer risk havimg a chunk of plastic go falling down into a shaft to the engine every time I checked the oil.

What does this have to do with "silent questions"? you might ask. Just wait.

It has something to do with that annoying-looking check engine light. You know, the one with the bolt of lightning (whatever) going throught the image of a bright yellow engine? I can't tell you how many silent questions I had when driving around with that check engine light on. Can't tell you the hundreds of dollars I spent to have it diagnosed & the alleged problem (cause) repaired. Funny thing was, this check engine light liked to go on right after I checked my oil. It happened enough times over the years that I put two and two together and answerd my silent questions. Even at the first occurrence I answerd the question and told myself it had to do with a "broken seal" at the dipstick handle where the engine vacuum pressure was changed. When I asked the question, however, all of the mechanics said it probably wasn't the cause of the check engine light going on. Even the dealer told me so.

Well, the other day this light went on again. The last time it happened I turned the dipstick around thinking it had a better seal that way. The light went off within a few days. With the arrival of spring, temperatures were changing back and forth from hot to cold and I imagined the handle base had become warped this time around. What to do? Go and spend money I don't have to fix something that I "know" I can fix myself? But how?

I contemplated a way to make a seal. The dipstick handle looked like a shen ring. A circle with a round base. What could I use? Tin foil, I thought! So I wrapped a piece around the base to where it would squash up against the base of the dipstick and the hole going down into the engine. The light went off after about a day!

An interesting aside, I thought, was the symbolic meaning to this part of my car. It was the part connecting the inside and outside of the engine. A connection between inner and outer. I had the answer all along, but I didn't listen to it. As a result, all of these other questions went racing through my head. What is it? What am I going to do now, etc? Oh the emotins and the stress! All because I listened to others instead of my own "small" voice.

A resolution required less than five minutes of imagination to fix the problem. Five minutes (and no money spent) to fix the problem.


P.S. Knock on wood ... XXX :)
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Re: The Silent Questions

Postby Doug Marman on Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:08 pm


To your question about experiences with birds, I remember studying the journals of Leonardo da Vinci many years ago. In one place, he mentions his lifelong experiences with birds coming to him. Even as a baby, he said, that a bird came down to him.

In my book, The Silent Questions, I few stories of my own. One, in Chapter Two, where I met a wild bird that would visit with me on my walks, but never with anyone else.

Here is the story I shared in Chapter Three about Nikola Tesla. It is a direct quote from John O'Neill's interview with Nikola, about a special relationship he had with a bird that changed his life. These are Nikola Tesla's words:

"I have been feeding pigeons, thousands of them, for years; thousands of them, for who can tell…

"But there was one pigeon, a beautiful bird, pure white with light gray tips on its wings; that one was different. It was a female. I would know that pigeon anywhere.

“No matter where I was that pigeon would find me; when I wanted her I had only to wish and call and she would come flying to me. She understood me and I understood her.

"I loved that pigeon. Yes, I loved that pigeon. I loved her as a man loves a woman, and she loved me. When she was ill I knew, and understood; she came to my room and I stayed beside her for days. I nursed her back to health. That pigeon was the joy of my life. If she needed me, nothing else mattered. As long as I had her, there was a purpose in my life.

"Then one night as I was lying in my bed in the dark, solving problems, as usual, she flew in through the open window and stood on my desk. I knew she wanted me; she wanted to tell me something important, so I got up and went to her.

"As I looked at her I knew she wanted to tell me – she was dying. And then, as I got her message, there came a light from her eyes – powerful beams of light. Yes, it was a real light, a powerful, dazzling, blinding light, a light more intense than I had ever produced by the most powerful lamps in my laboratory.

"When that pigeon died, something went out of my life. Up to that time I knew with a certainty that I would complete my work, no matter how ambitious my program, but when that something went out of my life I knew my life’s work was finished.

"Yes, I have fed pigeons for years; I continue to feed them, thousands of them, for after all, who can tell –"

Doug Marman
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Re: The Silent Questions

Postby Vidyanet on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:01 am

Funny you should mention pigeons. I've been thinking about them for a couple weeks now. Pigeons and doves, that is. I've been thinking about their history as messengers and how they like to inhabit and return to the same places. Even a newspaper article, at the beginning of this month, read in part: "Police say inmates are using carrier pigeons to smuggle cell phones onto a prison farm in southeastern Brazil."

Another curious characteristic I observed was the sound a morning dove made. How it sounded similar to "hu".

In the Old Testament [Genesis 8:8], Noah reportedly sent a dove ("yvnh") to search for land. It eventually brought back an olive leaf. In the New Testament (Mark 1:10) Spirit descended (on Jesus) like a dove ("peristera") after
Jesus was babtized by John the Baptist. This latter example is part of the reason I was curious about pigeons and doves.

There is a word in Greek, "pneuma", that was sometimes used for both "Spirit" and "Ghost" (as in Holy Ghost or, "Hagios Pneuma") in the New Testament. One place "Ghost" was mentioned, I believe, was after Jesus' got crucified. When he, reportedly, "Gave up the Ghost".

This was part of my curiosity about birds. How they were used for symbols of visitation by "higher powers", so to speak. The example with Jesus was curious in that "Spirit" (IMO) "seemed to" have come and went. Jesus also, reportedly, suggested that he would send the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost (if memory serves me).

Thanks, Doug, for sharing that story about Tesla and the pigeon.

As an aside (and I do mean an a-side), there's a word in the Old Testament which sounds similar to Tesla. I believe it's fist appearance is Genesis 2:21, where "tsla" ("tsela") was translated to "ribs". It was translated later, in other places, to "side" (among other things).

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Re: The Silent Questions

Postby Jane on Sat May 30, 2009 10:36 pm

I got your book & read it all the way through. Thank you very much for writing it.
With gratitude,
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Re: The Silent Questions

Postby farshid on Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:16 am

Dear Doug
I read your “Silent Questions’’ book completely. I found it near to my belief and progressing consciousness in Eckankar path.
However dearest Doug, I am confuse about two parts, first is : great Eck Master ((Lai – Tsi)) said : (( I learnt how stand aside and look how Eck solve my needs))! I think I have a misunderstanding about this talk because I read in Silent Questions book that real Seeker should be active as much as he can … and you told in this book that : some people come to theosophy and spiritual path because they want God protects them and solves their needs and facilities.
Second one: you wrote at this book that inner master told you ((release Eckankar path)) and I understand from your talks that you don’t want be in shape or cast of any paths and you look just for IT. I am a little confuse that your main frame of spiritual lessons and consciousness is from Eckankar and you try to tell the readers that Path isn’t important and we don’t just stay in a routine shape and cast because true seeker of light and sound of God don’t need SHAPEs and WORDs.

I think this is my misunderstanding and if it is possible please explain about it for me more. These two notes are too important for me.
Best Regards
Baraka Bashad
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Re: The Silent Questions

Postby Ernest on Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:33 pm

You ask: Who am I ?
I asked the same question once and made a mantra like, sing song out of it:
Who am I ? I am who I am. I am HU, I am. (Hu being an ancient name for God in many religions such as the sufi religion and African religions)
Who are you? You are who you are. You are HU, you are.
Huuuuu..... I love you.
Huuuuu.... I love Hu.

It went on like this for a while, with me laughing and smiling, and then the whole car I was driving in began to reverberate with a low frequency hum, like thousands humming Huuu... in an Eckankar meeting.

When I was singing: "I am Hu, I am", I was thinking: I am a part of God or as Eckankar says: I am a spark of God, a drop of soul in the collective conciousness of all souls.

It seemed that I was asking the right question and God seemed to be giving me some kind of unmistakable sign; a clairaudiant experience of the logos or sound of God that St John was writing about when he wrote: In the beginning, there was the logos, the sound, or sound of God, or power of the Holy Spirit expressing itself as sound, to energize all of us with its soothing, calming, healing energy.

So I have to say: You are asking the right question Doug. Who am I ?

"I am who I am" is a play on the words of Moses when he had his experience with the burning bush. I am sounds the same as Lord in his language, so he could have been hearing the Lord say to him "I am the Lord".

This is why I cannot really leave Eckankar, though I have had some bad experiences with a few members in the past. After having experiences like clairaudiant humming, I thought I was called in a way and was shocked to learn that some high initiates in Eckankar did not have a very good view of me which even led an advisor to say Sri Klemp recommended people like me having problems with some high initiates should leave Eckankar. I did not have to, but that was recommended, so I did for awhile. Just let the membership drop without saying anything. But every once in a while, I have checked the website and that's when I found all the cult charges and plagierism charges and charges of lies. The people making all the allegations just don't have the Eck experience. They can't see the forest for the scarred and shaking trees. So seeing this question posed by you has brought back all these questions on whether I should formally rejoin Eckankar, called a cult, and a strange new age religion, or whether I should keep my distance. When you have experiences like I have had, how can you leave? I am one of the lucky ones who God called out of the masses of sinners, in or out of Eckankar. So, I guess that is who I am.
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Re: The Silent Questions

Postby Ernest on Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:24 pm

Sorry to take up space where I may or may not be welcome. But after I left this website the other day, I went out to my living room and had another seemingly magical eck experience. I have been having trouble with people burning wood for heating as the smoke can be a threat to life and health according to health authorities. I had to endure living next to a wood boiler for 3 months which made me study the problem intensely and I seemingly got rid of the problem only to have it seemingly re appear after 2 years since a neighbor put a stack of wood in plain view of my window as if to say:"Get Ready". I was doing just that by talking to the local and state and federal government. I figured it was going to be a bad winter challenging me to master this tough situation with engineering or gov work or legal work. And then after telling others about one of my few experiences in an attempt to help shed some light on Eckankar, I went out to my living room and.....THE WOODPILE WAS GONE!

Was some burning off of Karma lifted because I tried to help God and Eckankar? Maybe. I have been an activist trying to decrease wood burning with mixed results thinking to myself I was helping God create a better world in my own small way. Then this pleasant surprise. Of course it could all be coincidence but then again...

So, I had to come back to write this. I don't have these experiences often so this is a big deal to me. Anyway whether God had anything to do with it or not, the removal of the woodpile has made me happy and I like to imagine that God had something to do with it, because that makes me happy too. It makes me wonder: Who or what did this?
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Re: The Silent Questions

Postby SDP on Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:23 pm


One of the things that is often confusing with understanding the spiritual path is that you cannot understand the whole of it from one state of consciousness. What this means is that when you change your state of consciousness, the truths of the path change as well.

In other words, what is right for one point on the path is not necessarily right for another point. This is why it is impossible to judge how another person is doing on the path from our own understanding, because we are in a different state of consciousness, and they have different lessons they are learning.

If you look at Lai Tzi's saying, about how to get ourselves out of the way so that the ECK, or Spirit, can work, this is talking about a particular stage on the path where this is the lesson to be learned. It is completely true for those who are at the point.

But this doesn't mean that we can always just move out of the way and everything will work out. In many cases, we must also be active and do what we can. So, this is like the saying you know well: Trust in God, but tie up your camel.

Here is another lesson that comes at a different stage of our growth: We must learn to ask for what we need. In this case, it is just as if Spirit, the ECK, is standing by waiting for our request, but it will not act until we ask. Then it brings about the changes we need. This can be even for our spiritual needs.

In other words, we should always remember that the path is something we must walk. No one can do this for us. We must ask the Masters for their help, or they will wait until we ask. The same is true of Spirit - it only begins working with us after we invite it to do so. The ECK and true spiritual Masters never interfere with our freedom of choice. That's why we must begin with some action of our own. Then once Spirit is in motion, we often need to get out of the way. This means we should stop trying to tell the ECK how it should work.

What I was saying at that point in my book that you mentioned is that people often think that God should take care of them, or a spiritual Master should, but this isn't the way the path works. It is our responsibility to walk the path, but it is something that we must do with God and with the ECK. Does that make sense?

Next, on the second part of your question: This not something that would have been right for me when I first started my spiritual search. I even said this at the end of Part One. On pages 63-64 I wrote: "I could not see that the Inner Master was a part of myself. I was not ready for that understanding. In fact, it wouldn't have helped me even if I had been told that...Each lesson comes at its appropriate time."

But then later on in the book, as I grew spiritually, I realized that I could no longer separate myself from all of life. I no longer needed the path to be in one form or shape, I found it everywhere. I discovered that wherever we go is sacred ground. But this was my realization at that state of consciousness. It is something we see and experience in that state.

This doesn't mean everyone should believe this or follow this idea. It isn't an idea. It is an experience. When you begin living from and working in this state of consciousness, you see it wherever you look.

So, I was not saying that the path is not important. It is one of the most important things. But a part of the path is that it eventually leads you to the point where you must step off the path to find the real Path. That's because you must leave behind your old ideas of what the path is if you want to discover the higher states of consciousness. This is what it takes to take the next step.

This can sound confusing if you think of these as ideas to be followed. But this is not the path I was writing about. I was describing the path of spiritual experience. It is something to be lived, and we learn from life when we live with life. And the path unfolds and changes again and again as we expand our consciousness and grow spiritually.

What is always most important is what is the lesson that life is trying to teach us now? It is different for every person.

Does this answer your questions?


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