Appendix - Agreeing with Bob Kull
After [RKp662], I found that the bouncing off stopped; I suspect it was because of me rather than a stage reached in his solitude .... but I don't know. From that point on I began noting specific quotes but not for bouncing off. At the same time I was looking for something summative from him concerning his journey and I noted those as well.
“Global warming is — one way or another — part of the cyclic drift; populations grow dense and crash; life goes on. But we may be able to influence the process to prevent disaster to ourselves and to the ecosystems that sustain us” [RKp664]. Not us, the kids; he meant this I’m sure. Kolok’s distress.
“Some psychologists argue that we become depressed when we ’re unwilling to consciously feel anger toward the world, and instead direct it toward ourselves. I wonder. I’ve felt openly angry for a long time, and I still get depressed! Perhaps, instead, depression is just the sense of lifelessness that comes when I’m unwilling to feel painful emotions of any kind and so hold all experience at bay. Leaning in, to experience the depression directly, breaks the cycle because then I am feeling and letting the world touch me. By leaning in and accepting it, I can shift my perspective to Big Mind, and then the depression loses its power to dominate; it becomes a natural part of the universe. Sometimes when I sink lightly into the depression, it opens out into joy” [RKp674].
“I sit and watch what aversion and desire do to my mind. I practice the balance of leaning lightly into pain and lightly away from pleasure; practice letting go of the past and trusting the unknowable future. And I explore the shift that transforms the path to somewhere else into an endless opening in the here and now” [RKp676] 676. Trust the unknowable future – wow. I don’t fear it but do I trust it?
Interlude [RKpp685-704] – describing his own spiritual practice – again mostly agreement. Just different people not practice.
“How can we live — and respectfully take other lives — in a way that allows us to honor the sacredness of all Life? How can we live so our activities don’t rend us from the experience of belonging to the Earth and being part of the flow of Life? How can we sustain not only our own lives, but also the Life of the land and reestablish our sense of belonging and longing for the Sacred?” [RKpp711].
“Nothing fits here . . . no system at all. Nature just is. To feel alive, I must see the world as for the first time in each moment. As soon as I begin to record, classify, and compare, I move from living nature to conceptual mind — no wonder I feel I don’t know anything.
"It isn’t that in order to feel alive I must accept death; life/death is a single process. Deny death and life goes with it” [RKpp716].
“Flying the kite reminds me how my relationship with the wind has changed these past months. When I first arrived, I often felt the wind as a malevolent force intent on my destruction. As I’ve worked to surrender to the world, the wind has become a powerful teacher. Rain has taught me about tenderness and love; the wind about acceptance and about how I project my own denied demons onto the world. Watching the seagulls and condors playing high in the fierce wind a couple of months ago, I realized I wanted to play there, too, and the idea of building a kite flickered into my mind” [RKpp717].
I have reached the end of his solitude. I wanted to quote what he had worked out as a final quote, I picked up several:-
“Empty morning and I’m feeling sorrowful that finally I won’t get what I came here for — the ultimate fulfilling experience. When I allow that feeling to be part of the flow of my immediate actual experience, it feels rich and complete” [RKpp719].
“An inner voice said I’ll never really understand, and I still resist accepting that, but if I want the joy of living in mystery, that’s how it is, I guess. The voice said I don’t need to understand and explain the world but be a source of life for others the way solitude is for me. And in my relationships keep an open heart so we can be together in peace, love, and beauty” [RKpp727].
“What’s the meaning and reason for our living? Only this. Life is its own meaning. Nothing to get out of it, and nowhere to take anything to. Like a tornado, we spin in the tip of the funnel, restlessly seeking. Let the fierce winds subside, and settle back into the flowing now of the universe” [RKpp730].
Interlude [RKpp732-746] small mind Big Mind
“I’m not sure what enlightenment is, but I believe there have been moments. If so, enlightenment is not something I can get. It’s the process of abandoning myself to the world. There have been times when, like a clear bell, I could hear the sound of one hand clapping and feel the sacredness of everything. It’s the sound of the world, once I remember in my heart that there is truly nothing to get. What I’m looking for, I already have” [RKpp752].